To protect your ideas, several different types of intellectual property rights are available. In the following, the most important ones are briefly presented. We would be pleased to advise you on which protective right is most suitable for you.
Patents/utility models – protection for your inventions
Patents and utility models serve to protect technical innovations. To obtain a patent, the invention must be in particular novel and inventive. The invention may therefore not yet be known and moreover can not simply be derived from the known state of the art. In the course of the application process, the patent application is examined and granted by the Patent Office if the Patent Office considers the requirements to be fulfilled. The maximum period of validity of a patent is 20 years from the date of filing.
A utility model differs from a patent in that it has a shorter period of validity (up to 10 years) and during the registration procedure, only a state-of-the-art research is carried out. An examination of whether the claimed invention is in fact novel and inventive does not take place. Furthermore, in the case of a utility model, a period of grace can be claimed, so that own publications within a period of six months before the filing date are not regarded as state of the art.
Trademarks – Protection for your identity
Brands are the distinguishing feature of a good or service and are used for distinction and differentiation from other goods or services. Above all, words or graphic logos as well as sounds or product shapes can be protected as trademarks. The term of a trademark is unlimited in time and must be renewed every ten years.
Designs – Protecting your appearance
Designs protect the external appearance of a product. Designs must be new and possess individual character, even if these requirements are not examined during the application process. A design may therefore neither be known nor have the same overall impression as an already known design for the informed user. For designs a grace period of twelve months is possible for own publications. The maximum period of validity is 25 years.