Frequently asked questions.
FAQs – or what you always wanted to know but never dared to ask.
A property right for a technical object or process. It allows its owner to prohibit others from commercially using the protected invention for 20 years.
A description, usually accompanied by drawings, and patent claims defining the protection. In addition, an abstract and an inventor’s designation.
Articles and processes from all fields of technology which are industrially applicable, practicable, new and inventive.
In case of regular payment of the renewal fee up to 20 years from the date of registration
The costs depend on the effort required for the drafting. Including official fees and attorney’s fees, a German patent application usually costs between 4000 and 6000 EUR plus VAT, a European application about 6000 EUR and an application in other countries between 4000 and 6000 EUR.
No, but an international (PCT) patent application covering almost all states, which can be converted into national or regional patent applications after 31 months.
The term for a patent is 20 years, for a utility model 10 years. A patent is officially examined and granted, a utility model is registered without substantive examination. With a utility model, no processes can be protected.
A utility model is a protection for a technical innovation. In contrast to a patent, this is not examined by the patent office for protectability, but is registered after a formal examination has been carried out. From the time of registration, the utility model then offers protection against imitations, provided that it is protectable against the state of the art.
For the utility model application, a description of the object to be protected is usually required, usually with drawings, as well as the so-called protection claims, which define the actual scope of protection.
Technical objects and devices are eligible for utility model protection, whereas, in contrast to the patent, no processes can be protected.
A utility model can last a maximum of 10 years if the corresponding maintenance fees are paid to the Patent Office after 3 years, 6 years and 8 years.
The costs for a utility model consist on the one hand of the official application fees and on the other hand of representation and elaboration costs of a patent attorney and are typically between 2,500 and 3,500 EUR. In simple or complicated cases, the costs may also vary upwards or downwards.
A property right for an aesthetic creation of form or color of an object, which is protected by registration with the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Intellectual Property Office.
By filing an application with the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Intellectual Property Office.
With regular payment of renewal fees up to 25 years.
Design is the so-called “small coin” of copyright. A copyright requires a considerable level of creation and is then protected – without registration with an office – for up to 70 years after the author’s death. With a design, smaller creative creations can also be protected, whereby the protection only lasts for a maximum of 25 years after registration with the patent office.
An industrial property right which, after registration of the trademark, allows its owner to prevent third parties from using an identical or similar designation for identical or similar goods or services.
Usually by filing an application with the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Intellectual Property Office after payment of an official fee and definition of the goods and services to be protected.
The term of protection is 10 years from the filing date. The trademark can then be renewed as often as desired for a further 10 years.
Unter Einschaltung eines Patentanwalts kostet eine deutsche Markenanmeldung ab 700 EUR inklusive der amtlichen Gebühren. Die Kosten steigen mit der Anzahl der zu benennenden Waren- bzw. Dienstleistungsklassen. Für eine Anmeldung in der Europäischen Union sind die Kosten in der Regel ca. 2- bis 3-mal so hoch.With the involvement of a patent attorney, a German trademark application costs from EUR 700 including official fees. The costs increase with the number of classes of goods or services to be designated. For an application in the European Union, the costs are usually about 2 to 3 times as high.
Durch einen Löschungsantrag bei dem Amt, bei welchem die Marke registriBy filing a request for cancellation with the office where the trademark is registered. An application for cancellation can be filed, among others, on the grounds of earlier rights, absolute grounds for refusal, bad faith or revocation due to a period of non-use exceeding 5 years.
Yes, the same trademark can be protected for goods or services that are not similar to each other for different companies. For example, there are Hermés luxury goods and a Hermes parcel service provider.
Infringement, Warning, Employee Inventions and Co.
A patent infringement requires that the technical subject matter defined by the independent patent claims be realized or manufactured, offered, put on the market, used or imported or possessed for these purposes identically or equivalently in all features. In the case of a protected process, it is forbidden to use it or offer it for this purpose if it is known or circumstantially obvious that the patentee does not permit this. The product directly manufactured by the process is also protected.
A utility model infringement requires that the technical subject matter defined by the independent claims is realized identically or equivalently in all features and is manufactured, offered, put on the market, used or imported or possessed for the purposes just mentioned.
A trademark is infringed if a similar or identical sign is used in the course of trade without the consent of the trademark owner for identical or similar goods or services protected under the trademark.
The exception to this is well-known trademarks, where even dissimilar goods and services may not be used under certain conditions.
Use of a trademark includes, among other things, affixing it to goods or their presentation or packaging, offering, putting on the market or possessing them for this purpose, as well as importing or exporting such goods, and offering or providing protected services.
A design is infringed if a design is used that does not create a different overall impression on the informed user than the protected design.
The protection of the design is defined by the features visibly reproduced in the design application, and the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design is included here.
In particular, the manufacture, offering, putting on the market, import, export or use of a product in which the registered design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or the possession of such a product for these purposes, shall be deemed to be unauthorized use.
It is best to quickly consult a lawyer or patent attorney specializing in trademark law and have the possibilities of a defense reviewed. There are numerous possible defenses here
An authorization request is a common “mild” procedure in patent and utility model disputes to give the potential infringer an opportunity to justify its conduct before a formal cease-and-desist order is issued.
Not before the German and European Patent Offices, but before most foreign patent offices. However, due to his technical and patent, trademark and design law expertise, the involvement of a patent attorney is always recommended.
An invention made by an employee in the course of his or her work is a service invention which the inventor must report to his or her employer, observing certain formalities. The employer can then decide whether to claim or release the reported invention.
The claim is the transfer of the inventor’s rights to the employer. This is legally feigned 4 months after notification and triggers various obligations for the employer. For example, the invention must be registered as a patent or, in exceptional cases, as a utility model, and the inventor is generally entitled to remuneration, which, however, usually also requires sales of the product.
In the event of a release, all rights remain with the inventor, who can then register the invention as a property right at his own expense and, if necessary, also prohibit others from using it, including, in principle, his employer. During the employment relationship, however, the inventor must offer his employer at least one non-exclusive use on reasonable terms before exploitation.