The road to success for a company is usually complex, but a good help comes from the hand of utility patents, which are also known as utility models in Peru. These protect the technological advantage that a company has developed and by which it will differentiate itself from its competitors.
Today the largest number of inventions records granted by the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) in Peru belong to these utility patents.
Companies that choose to apply for a utility model only invest half the time and resources compared to those that choose to apply for an invention patent. This occurs because utility models have less stringent substantive legal requirements and their registration is usually completed within 2 years, or even less time in some cases.
A good example of how utility models can serve to protect technology is the case of the Peruvian company GRUPO QAIRA S.A.C. This company was founded by Mónica Abarca, Carlos Saito, Francisco Cuéllar and Javier CalvoPérez in 2015 and together with the PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DEL PERÚ applied for registration with Indecopi the utility model called “INTERCHANGEABLE MODULE FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF QUALITY OF THE AIR IN UNMANNED AIR VEHICLES”, granted in 2018. This invention was recognized for its importance in caring for the environment during World Intellectual Property Day organized and promoted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (Ompi).
How did qAIRa take advantage of utility models?
GRUPO QAIRA S.A.C. and the PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DEL PERÚ requested in 2016 the registration of the invention which, according to the summary consigned in the application, is about “equipment for measuring different parameters involved in the air pollution produced, mainly, by the mining and oil industry. The invention allows the use of interchangeable sensors, which detect polluting gases, and which do not require extra configuration when they are coupled and uncoupled from the electronic card. In addition to detecting polluting gases, the invention makes it possible to detect the presence of particles in the air it samples, whose measurable diameters depend on the sensor used.”
This innovation led it to attract the attention of various local actors such as the Municipality of Lima Metropolitana and mining companies in Peru interested in measuring the impact of their operations on air quality around their extraction zone.
More recently, other companies operating in the oil, gas, electricity, and agriculture sectors have also shown interest in qAIRa products. This occurs because the measurement of air quality is a concern in companies in these industries.
Adding all this attention to the utility model developed by qAIRa would not have been possible if this company had not registered the utility model with Indecopi. This protection, which lasts for ten years, gives qAIRa the assurance that your invention cannot be manufactured, used, distributed, imported, or sold commercially by others in Peru without your consent. However, qAIRa will not have the right to prevent a third party from carrying out commercial acts with respect to a product protected by the patent, after that product has been introduced into commerce in any country by qAIRa, or by another person with their consent. or economically linked to it.
This type of industrial protection for inventions is an accurate formula to increase the profitability of companies, through licenses, and at the same time, help them to conquer markets outside the borders of Peru by making use of legal protection mechanisms such as the PCT or Paris Convention.
Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual (Indecopi) (2021) Patentes de modelos de utilidad. (National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) (2021) Patents for utility models). Recovered from: https://www.indecopi.gob.pe/documents/2820519/2843249/Patentes+de+modelo+de+utilidad.pdf/d5c0b50f-d072-9a62-8821-b86ddc5a3887#:~:text=Los%20modelos%20de%20utilidad%20son,de%20una%20patente%20de%20invenci%C3%B3n.
Organización Mundial de la Protección Intelectual (2020) Combatir la contaminación del aire causada por la minería. (World Intellectual Protection Organization (2020) Combat air pollution caused by mining). Recovered from: https://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ip-outreach/es/ipday/2020/toolkit/ipday2020_casestudy_1.pdf