Patents are granted in all fields of technology for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.
In order to be able to evaluate an invention from a patent law perspective, comprehensive knowledge and sound experience in both the technical field of the invention and the field of patent law are indispensable. Our experienced patent attorneys will assist you in all aspects of patent law in the respective technical fields. Together with you, we develop individual strategies that provide optimal long-term protection for your intellectual property.
To obtain a patent, a patent application must be filed with the relevant patent office, e.g. the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Patent Office. After the patent application has been examined by the patent office for formal and substantive defects, e.g. lack of novelty or lack of inventive step, and any defects have been eliminated, the patent is granted.
The patent has the effect that the patent owner can prohibit others, in particular competitors, from commercially using the invention. Over the patent's term of protection, the right to prohibit thus gives the patent holder a fundamental competitive advantage over his competitors. Patents therefore often form a considerable part of a company's assets.
Protection through patents
The protection provided by a patent extends to the subject matter defined by the patent claims. Therefore, the wording of the patent claims is of essential importance for the utility of the patent. In this context, it should also be noted that no additional information can be added after the patent application has been filed, which means that the maximum scope of protection to be obtained is already defined by the application documents.
Defense against third party property rights
After a patent has been granted by the European Patent Office or the German Patent and Trademark Office, it can be attacked within a period of 9 months after publication of the grant: anyone can file an opposition against this patent with the competent patent office with the aim of having the patent revoked completely or at least maintained only to a limited extent. This provides competitors with a means of defending themselves against patents.
However, the grounds for an objection are limited and laid down by law and consist of both rather formal legal and rather technical reasons. Therefore, the success of such objection proceedings essentially depends to a large extent on the precise and powerful combination of both technical knowledge and legal know-how in the preparation of objections as well as in the conduct of objection proceedings.