The Malaysian Patent Act , Section 17 defines a Utility Innovation as: "any innovation which creates a new product or process, or any new improvement of a known product or process, which is capable of industrial application and includes an invention" which might look similar to that of a patent. But, there is a difference in that you will need to have an inventive step for a grant of Patent whereas inventive step is not needed for Utility Innovation. Thus, it would be easier to obtain a Utility Innovation. UI is also termed minor or small invention.
A Utility Innovation Model is a minor form of patent as it does not require proof of inventive step. However, it still need to be novel and also be industrially applicable. In lui of a grant, Utility Innovations is issued with a certificate with ten years of protection. In the Malaysian context, Utility Innovations will be accorded another five plus five years after the ten years expire provided it is still being industrially used.
Compared to a standard patent, utility innovations is easier and faster to obtain. It is also more difficult to be proved invalid in a court of law.
Utility models are suitable protections for small and medium enterprises who would normally need something to starve of competitors.