Often used by local inventors, utility models are often used for protecting inventions that have usually a short commercial life and are suited for protecting invention that make small improvements to, and adaptation of, existing product. A utility model require compliance with less stringent requirements than a patent. Depending on the country of protection, the term of protection might change but they usually have a shorter term of protection than patents. The procedure and requirement of protection is also simpler, which make utility models more popular within local inventors.
Although the system of protection is similar to patents, utility models usually don’t fulfill patentability requirements and are usually used for "minor inventions", such as a minor improvements of an existing product.
Utility models are a usually a good alternative to patents.