Patents and utility models: protection against imitation
What are patents and utility models?
The idea is at the beginning of a successful story. The little steps forward are often the most valuable. The registration of a patent or a utility model serves to protect against imitation. The difference: patents are examined if they are new and inventive. Utility models are not reviewed given prior art.
Patents and utility models must be both new and inventive. It is essential to know the prior art before registering a utility model or patent. To be able to assess the chances of success of a patent application, we offer searches for prior art.
The patent and utility model protects against imitation
Like all property rights, the granted patent or registered utility model protects the right holder from imitation. The ideas are often economically valuable. It is therefore advisable to secure these ideas with intellectual property rights, such as patents or utility models.
Creation of patent protection
Patents are granted on application by the responsible national and international authorities. The prerequisite for granting a license in Germany or Europe is the existence of an invention that must be new and inventive as well as commercially applicable.
Vital for you: A separate pre-publication of the invention conflicts with the novelty of the subject of the patent. First, register your invention as a patent with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) or a national patent office abroad. Only then should you approach or present the design to third parties.
Term of protection of the patent
A German patent application or a patent application before the European Patent Office (EPO) can be obtained within 12 months from the filing date of a patent application from abroad.
Protection period of the utility model
If you are the owner of an international patent application (PCT application), we can assist you with the regional phase before the European Patent Office (EPO) or the national stage before the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). Please note that there is also the possibility to obtain a German utility model for the owner of a PCT application, which may be advisable for cost-sensitive clients or clients who are in urgent need of the protection of an invention in Germany.
Term of protection of the patent
A patent is protected in Germany for a maximum of 20 years and arises when the license is granted. The critical date for the relevant state of the art is the filing date or priority date of the patent at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). A prerequisite for the maximum protection period is the payment of the annual fees to the DPMA.
The protection period of the utility model
In contrast to the patent, the term of protection of the utility model is a maximum of 10 years. The renewal fees for a license are different for the utility model than for the patent. Maintenance fees apply for the 4th – 6th year, then for the 7th and 8th year, and finally for the 9th and 10th year.
Help with patent infringements
Patents may need to be defended against attacks by third parties. We advise and represent you in the enforcement of your property rights against third parties. In the event of an impending lawsuit, we will help you to assess risks with well-founded reports. Together with you, we develop strategies to solve the conflict.
Services provided by our patent attorneys
Our patent attorneys Dirk Hübsch and Sebastian Kirschner, represent you as German Patent Attorneys before the German Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Patent Court and EUIPO and WIPO. Besides, they also act as European Patent Attorneys in proceedings before the European Patent Office.
Many years of experience and a network of patent attorneys around the world offer you the opportunity to have your inventions protected as comprehensively and internationally as possible. In this context, we also monitor property rights and property rights registrations from third parties or competitors and are happy to advise you on all questions of industrial property protection. Contact us and take advantage of an initial non-binding consultation.