Inventions in the field of engineering can be protected by a patent or a German utility model.
- Patent protection may be granted to inventions that concern objects as e.g. engines, chemical substances or drugs (product patent). Manufacturing processes or working methods may be protected by patent, as well (process/method patent).
For a patent to be granted it is necessary that the invention is a new one, that it results from an inventive activity and that it may be used in a commercial way. An invention is considered a new one if it is not part of the state of the art. Inventors tend to neglect the fact that own publications on an invention before it is registered as a patent already make it a part of the state of the art and, with it, are detrimental to novelty. Consequently, a patent has to be applied for first – before the inventor talks about it in a lecture or essay or presents the invented object on a trade fair.
The patent grants its holder the exclusive right to manufacture the patented product or to apply the patented method. Patent protection is awarded for a maximum period of 20 years starting from the date of application.
- The utility model is the technical property right that is „smaller“ (only 10 years of protection) and low-cost. Novelty, inventive activity and commercial applicability are not yet enquired in the application procedure. So, protection is more easily and more quickly to achieve. On the other hand, the utility model may be revoked more easily on the grounds of objections of third parties.
- In case that a registered patent or utlility model is not observed, the holder of the proprietary right may claim discontinuance and indemnification from the infringing party.
In the field of Patent and Utility Model Law our offer to you includes the following services,
- Verification of your invention with respect to protectability;
- Research, according to the state of the art, including Freedom-to-Operate researches;
- Application of patents for registration with the German, European and international offices;
- Application of utility models for registration with the German Patent and Trademark Office;
- Extrajudicial and judicial enforcement of claims under Patent and Utility Model Law (discontinuance, indemnification, information on suppliers, confiscation);
- Prosecution of trademark piracy;
- Warning notices, filing of writs of injunction, legal actions;
- Defence against claims under Patent and Utility Model Law, including verification of warning notices and preventive filing of protective letters;
- Counselling and representation with respect to inventions of employees.