Utility models are very similar to a minor version of patents.
Utility models are generally valid for 10 years from the application submission date.
There is no procedural step to check whether a utility model meets the requirements of novelty and inventive step. The utility model is simply registered with the authority and then subsequently checked for validity if a current case comes up where it is of significance.
This is why the submission and application process for utility models in general are cheaper than patents.
Utility models are not available in as many different countries as patents, and the rules about utility models vary quite a bit in depending on the country or region.