Patents provide the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for a limited period of time. Patents are granted by the European Patent Office in Europe and by the German Patent and Trademark Office in Germany. However in both Europe and Germany, only technical inventions can be protected by patents so for example patent protection is not available for business methods. The European Patent Office grants patents which can be enforced in 40 countries including all members of the EU and the non EU countries and thus covers one of the most significant markets in the world. During the grant procedure, the requirements of novelty and non-obviousness are examined. The maximum term of patents in Germany and Europe is 20 years. For German patents, the applications documents must be in German. For European patents, the application documents must be either in English, German or French. Once granted, European patents have to be nationalized in the member states of the European Patent Organisation. In some member states, this requires a translation of the patent specification.
We advise and represent clients in all matters related to European and German patents including filing, prosecution, administration, and the payment of the maintenance fees. Apart from our qualifications and expertise which might convince you to entrust us with your European patent, there are a number of further good reasons to choose us as your IP law firm as we are based in Germany. The Germany courts deal with an estimated two thirds of all IP lawsuits in the European Union, are highly regarded in this area, and their decisions are enforceable in Germany, the largest European market. In addition, the legal cost of IP lawsuits in Germany is relatively low (only a fraction of legal cost of comparable lawsuits in the UK). Entrusting us with your case means that you have a contact person at the one of the best locations in the European Union.
In our public IP guide , we set out the general principles of the main intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, utility models, and designs) available in Europe and in particular in Germany. Please, use our contact form and specify whether you are an attorney or potential client in order to request the password for our IP guide comprising our fees or in order to ask for further comprehensive information about European or German intellectual property rights.