Patent & utility models
A patent is granted for an invention if it is new with respect to the state of the art, is not obvious to the average expert in the respective field and is suitable for commercial use. A patent is only granted upon close, even material examination by the responsible patent office and remains in force for a maximum of twenty years. All patent regulations, from the subject of patents and patent protection to the corresponding technical questions, are laid out in the Patent Law (Patentgesetz (PatG)).
Because of the thorough examination carried out by the patent office, on average, a patent is granted approximately two and a half years after the application is filed. To ensure an invention is effectively protected as soon as possible, we recommend filing a utility model application.
A utility model is registered subsequent to its formal examination by the responsible patent office and is valid for a maximum of ten years. All regulations pertaining to utility models, from the subject of a utility model and utility model protection to the corresponding technical questions are laid out in the Utility Model Law (Gebrauchsmustergesetz (GebrMG)). As the patent office only conducts a formal examination, on average, a utility model is issued approximately four months after the application is submitted.