Foto Rubrik Schutzrechte

Patents

Patents are granted for technical inventions after a factual examination by the Patent Office. The invention has to fulfil certain requirements to be granted as a patent. Thus, an invention must not have been published before the day where it has applied for a patent. Further, the invention has to be of a technical nature. What in detail is considered as "technical" in terms of the patent law, should be checked by a patent attorney. A device or a production method for certain products is patentable in either case. Nowadays, patent protection can also be obtained for software.

The patent protection can be prolongated by payment of yearly due annuity fees up to 20 years.

A granted patent has the effect, that only the patent owner is authorised to use the patented invention. It is prohibited for every third party to produce the subject matter of the patent,

to offer it, to put it in circulation
or
to use it or to import or to hold it for the given purposes without the consent of the patent owner.

Though, one must keep in mind that even a patented subject matter can make use of an elder patent. This is then called a "dependent patent". In this case, the subject matter of the dependant patent may only be used with the consent of the owner of the elder patent. The patent is therefore a prohibiting right and not a right to use.

The scope of protection of a patent is solely defined by the content of the patent claims. The description and the drawings are only drawn on for the interpretation of the patent claims.

The elaboration of a patent application should at any rate be carried out by a patent attorney, since only well phrased patent claims do assure an optimum protection through the patent.

As long as the patent application has not been published, one should not advertise with the protective right. The remark "applied for as patent" or "patent pending" must not be used for advertising purposes until the publication of the patent application. After its grant, a patent may be advertised with the remark "patented", "DBP" or "legally protected".