Patents & Utility Models
Protect your Inventions in Germany
Inventions (and innovations) are a valuable factor of your economic success. In Germany, inventions traditionally underlie a very strong protection by patent law. However, neglecting patent portfolio management might lead to undesirable consequences. If someone infringes your patent, you should act in a timely manner, as lapse of time might render your claims outdated.
Regisering a utility model can be a time-saving alternative to protect your patent. The advantage of applying for a utility model is that the German Patent Office (DPMA) does not examine the substantive requirements for protection, i.e. novelty, inventive achievement and industrial applicability, which are substantive requirements for registering a patent. This is why a utility model is usually registered within only a few weeks. However, there are some disadvantages of utility models in comparison with patents: First, the period of legal protection is shorter. Second, in a court proceeding, the substantive requirements would still need to be examined by the court. Thus, a quickly registered, but substantively unexamined utility model may prove substantively invalid in court. Our patent attorneys will carefully examine what form of protection (patent or utility model) best suits your individual circumstances.
Enforcing your Claims in and out of Court
If a third party infringes on your patent or utility model, the German Patent Act and the German Utility Model Act provide you with a wide range of claims against the infringer of a utility model registered in Germany, e.g. an injunction against any infringing activity, damages for your loss of profits or in the amount of a license fee, and demanding the destruction of any infringing goods and equipment. Our attorneys are ready and able to help you enforce these claims efficiently and – if possible – also immediately in form of an urgency injunction against the infringer. In case of a utility model, we will also assess whether we could indeed prove the so far unexamined substantive requirements for protection in court (i.e. novelty, inventive achievement and industrial applicability).
Representation in other constellations in and out of Court
We will also comprehensively represent your interests in other constellations before the German Patent Office, the German Patent Court (BPatG) as well as all civil courts. We will, for example, file a revocation action on your behalf with the German Patent Court in order to eliminate your competitor’s patent or utility model, if this patent or utility model was granted to your competitor without good reason. We will also be pleased to advise and assist you regarding other forms of proceedings, e.g. to get a compulsory license or to file an opposition out of court.
Patent Registration in Germany
You want to register your product or intellectual property in Germany? We conduct your patent registration in Germany. Our German patent attorneys advise on the right form of protection.
Defending you against unjustified patent or utility model claims
In case you apply certain technical procedures or manufacture certain products and a patent or utility model holder brings – perhaps false – legal claims against you, we will represent and defend you with all possible means against the claimant. Under certain circumstances, we can resolve the dispute out-of-court, e.g. by negotiating an impenetration agreement. A simple, but effective way of defense against the claimant in court may be the filing of a revocation action with the German Patent Court in Munich against the claimant’s patent or utility model. In some cases, antitrust law defences may be applicable. We will be pleased to advise you on finding the best strategy of defense in your individual situation.
German Employee Invention Law
The German Employee Invention Law is deemed to be the most complex in the world. Our attorneys will advise and assist you on how you can best use and protect your employees’ inventions in Germany to the benefit of your company.
License Agreements / Contract Drafting
If you intend to use your patents and utility models not only to bar competitors from exploiting your inventions, but also would like to grant third parties licences in exchange for a licensing fee(e.g. manufacturing or distribution licences), we will gladly assist you with commercializing your inventions and with drafting all necessary licence agreements for you.
Further Protection through Competition Law and other Provisions of IP Law
A patent gives you a monopoly with ultimate power over your invention. But even outside the scope of patent protection, the law may help you protect and foster your business interests against competitors. In order to advance your business interests best, our attorneys will thoroughly assess your economic situation (for instance by conducting a due dilligence examination) to increase your business prowess.