When applying for patent rights one can, but doesn’t have to also include a patent model that shows how an invention is supposed to work. It is normally rather small and is made according to specific standards. In modern day patent applications the diagrams, specifications, claims, and description are often far more important than the patent model.

There once was a time when the patent model was about the only method for the filing of a patent right. With many people during the 1600s to 1900s still rather illiterate, the patent office’s allowed for the submission of patent models with only a few drawings and wording to explain the working of the invention. Most of the earlier inventors lacked the technical training of modern day inventors. As such they relied on the submission of patent models to the patent offices to support their applications and claims.

The patent model was compulsory in countries such as the USA for almost a hundred years. The requirement for working patent models regarding patent applications was eventually stopped in 1880 by the USPTO, which stands for the United States Patent Office. Today in South Africa, one can also submit a patent model in addition to all the other information supplied by means of the description and specifications. It should be noted that the person who is commissioned to create the working model by the inventor cannot be registered as an inventor.

The only time the patent model creator can obtain patent rights for the invention is when it is the inventor who is also the maker of the model. We at Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property Attorneys will assist you regarding the submission of a patent application and also advice you regarding the creation of a patent model where applicable. Contact us for assistance today.