“innovation meets law”
IP-GÖTZ offers services of patent and law attorneys from one source. From the registration of an industrial property right up to its enforcement, we have technical and legal expertise and know how at your disposal for the best possible protection of your innovation.
Short distances and close coordination between patent and law attorneys in the development of protective right strategies geared to your needs produce a reasonable cost structure and not least a competitive advantage for our clients.
Patents protect technical theories against imitation. The conditions for the issue of a patent on an invention are innovation, inventive activity and industrial applicability. Scientific theories or mathematical methods, aesthetic designs (see designs for more) or business concepts do not qualify for patent protection.
According to the wording of the Patent Act, computer programs do not qualify for patent protection, but are subject to the copyright law. However, patent protection can be issued to a technical invention in which software is used.
If an invention is requested for a patent, the Patent Office checks whether the aforementioned conditions already exist. If the application successfully passes the examination procedure and a patent is granted, it entitles its owner to the sole use of the patented invention and prohibits third parties from manufacturing or using the protected product.
The maximum duration of a patent is twenty years from the date of application.
The utility model is a protective right for technical inventions, similar to the patent. The same conditions apply with the patent: innovation, inventive activity and industrial applicability. Procedures, however, do not qualify for protection of utility models.
Furthermore, the utility model is different from the patent by having no official examination for novelty and inventive step. Consequently, the utility model offers the possibility for obtaining fast protection of an invention.
There will only be an examination for novelty and inventive step in the event of a legal dispute – in a future possible case of cancellation or infringement. The utility model then is a “mock law”.
The owner of a utility model has the sole right to use the protected invention and can forbid third parties from manufacturing or using it.
The maximum duration of a utility model is ten years from the date of application.
A trademark is described as being the name or identification of a certain product or service. All symbols, especially words and figures, but also illustrations, can be registered as trademarks, but must be able to distinguish their protected goods or services from those of other companies.
Trademarks lacking of any distinctiveness for the goods or services will not be registered.
Furthermore, descriptive details that deceive the public about the type, condition or origin of goods and services do not qualify for protection.
If a trademark is registered, the owner can forbid third parties the unauthorised use of identical or similar trademarks for identical or similar goods or services.
The duration of protection of a trademark is initially ten years from the application date, but can be renewed as often as required.
The design or outer form of a product can be protected by the “design patent”. Regarded as a product is any industrial or technical object, including packaging, fittings, graphic symbols or typographic characters. Computer programs are not considered to be products.
A design can be registered if it is new and has individuality. If a design is registered, the Office does not check these requirements. An examination is only carried out in the event of a legal dispute.
A registered design grants its owner the sole right to its use. He can prohibit third parties from manufacturing or offering products using the design.
The maximum duration of protection of a design is twenty-five years from the date of application.