“Patents are only granted for groundbreaking inventions.”
This is an often-heard preconception - and a wrong one. A large share of the inventions for which patents are filed represent further developments and improvements of seemingly mature products and production methods.
Patent protection is available not only for “big ideas”, but in particular also for small inventions, which provide an economic benefit by supplying an advantage over the competition, and are thus important innovations worthy of protection.
We would be happy to provide clarification to these questions - and many others!
Our range of services
Intellectual property represents a significant part of company value . Whether technical inventions, design or trade marks, all such intangible goods arise from developments and added value that a company has achieved. This competitive advantage must be safeguarded and protected from attacks.
Portfolio analysis & protective rights evaluation
- Property rights provide unique selling propositions.
- Property rights safeguard investments.
- Property rights cost money, however.
For this reason, it's important to continuously analyse and evaluate the property rights portfolio, to synchronise it to the respective market conditions and market expectations. Also, the analysis of property rights portfolios of relevant competitors offers insight into corporate strategy and allows projections regarding product developments.
Probably the best known technical property right is the patent.
A patent provides the holder with protection from imitation and thus secures a market advantage over the competition. The decisive benefit of a patent: It is a property right verified by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office - and is therefore highly regarded.
Patents are filed for technical objects, chemical products or manufacturing processes. The prerequisite for being granted a patent is that the invention must be “new,” it must involve “an inventive step,” and must be “susceptible of industrial application” (§1 Patent Act).
Patent application takes place at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Munich, Germany; the term of a patent is a maximum of 20 years.
European patent applications are submitted to the European Patent Office in Munich. The procedure may extend to some or all signatory states. At the European Patent Office, the object of the application is examined with respect to its patentability before mutually independent national patents can be derived from a granted European patent. The major benefit of this procedure is that it is not necessary to negotiate with five, seven or even twenty patent offices, but only with one – the European Patent Office.
International patent application (PCT)
This procedure allows the inclusion of multiple (also non-European) countries with one application: With an international patent application, a centralized novelty search is executed, a request for a preliminary examination of the patent may be submitted. The national granting procedure must be initiated in the desired countries after completion of the international research report or the examination report, which reflects the chances of a patent being granted.
Trade mark protection
Trade marks are designations that are suitable for distinguishing own products from those of a competitor. The greater the success of a trade mark on the market, the greater the incentive for competitors to copy the trade mark. This can be undermined with the timely application of a trade mark.
Trade marks can be registered as words such as, for example, “Persil,” as combinations of words and signs (Bayer cross), numbers, or three-dimensional designs. Trade mark applications are submitted to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Registration is valid for ten years and may be extended for an additional ten years as often as desired.
Design as an aspect of marketing is increasingly being pushed to the forefront. Manufacturers from all industries are often intensely focused on the details of appearance – and are in this way distinguishing themselves from the competition. The appearance of household goods, furniture, everyday items and even automobiles are elements of industrial trade worth protecting.
The registered design is an industrial property right that was created for the form design or surface design of a product. At the time of application, the design must be new and unique. Registration of a design takes place at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Munich; the term is a maximum of 25 years.
License rights & drafting contracts
As intangible goods, property rights also represent marketable objects.
Licenses for the use of property rights, contracts for the acquisition of property rights, delimitation and prerogative agreements, deposits lodged by attorneys, and settlement agreements are only a few examples of the many types of agreements that can be made within the course of trade.
Pre-trial property rights disputes
Warnings, authorisation enquiries, and litigation preparations as well as mediation negotiations help stabilise and, where necessary, assert the protected intellectual property against third parties .
Official and court proceedings
German Patent and Trade Mark Office: RavensPat provides representation concerning all official registration procedures in patent divisions, the utility model office, trade mark divisions, and the registered design office. The board of arbitration for employee invention law is also located at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Furthermore, RavensPat also provides representation in opposition divisions, in trade mark-related objection and opposition procedures, as well as in all register removal procedures of trade marks, utility models, and registered designs.
European Patent Office: Representation in European patent granting procedures in the European Patent Office, in opposition divisions, and in board of appeals are among the firm's daily tasks.
European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Procedurally, the European Union (EU) trade mark and the European Union (EU) registered design are governed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). RavensPat also provides representation in this office for all procedural stages and ensures that the affected property rights are entered in the relevant register.
WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Organization administers international patent applications as well as international registered designs and trade marks and handles the associated procedures to obtain and manage these property rights. We represent national and international clients in these procedures as well and conduct negotiations with this office.
German Federal Patent Court: As a further instance in the German procedure of obtaining property rights, the Federal Patent Office is a highly technically and legally competent institution, one in which RavensPat represents the interests of its clients. Here, appeals against first instance decisions are just as relevant as the filing of nullity suits and the execution of procedures for the annihilation of granted patents.
German Federal Court of Justice (BGH): As an appellate instance after the Federal Patent Court or as appellate court in nullity procedures, we are also active in the BGH. The BHG recommends, or at least provides the option of, having all proceedings before the BGH conducted by lawyers admitted to the court in order to represent client interests in a purposeful and successful manner.
In contentious proceedings before the Regional Court or Higher Regional Court in matters concerning property rights infringements, RavensPat appears with a lawyer admitted to the respective court. Technical information regarding the contested patent or the form of infringement is often supported by the expertise of the patent attorney and is implemented in a productive manner by the lawyer during the proceedings.