Patents and Utility Models
Patents and utility models are used to legally protect inventions in all fields of technology. They provide a time-limited monopoly to the subject matter of the invention with a maximum term of usually 20 years for patents and 10 years for utility models. Inventions in all fields of technology can be patented, whether these be in the form of methods, devices, products or their use for a specific purpose.
In addition to an understanding of the technical field forming the basis of the invention, the drafting of a patent or utility model application also requires the necessary legal knowledge to achieve the best possible protection and to eliminate the patent being circumvented by competitors as far as possible.
The basic requirement for a legally valid utility model or patent protection is that the subject matter described in the property rights application was not yet known to the public at the crucial time and is based on an inventive step, i.e. does not appear to be an obvious solution for the “average person skilled in the art”. Secrecy is therefore one of the most important requirements before applying for a patent or utility model.