The owner of a patent has 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. 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 application documents must be in German and for European patents the application documents must be either in English, German or French. Once granted, European patents have to be nationalized (registered) in the member states of the European Patent Organisation and in some member states, this requires a translation of the patent specification.