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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a patent

Description

The patent is an industrial property right that gives you, as its owner, the exclusive right to dispose of your invention. No one else may make use of the patented invention without your consent. Except in exceptional cases regulated by law, for example, no one may manufacture, offer, place on the market or import patented products without a license or use patented processes. This property right is usually valid for a period of up to 20 years.

Patents may be granted for inventions in all fields of technology which:

  • are new,
  • are based on an inventive step, and
  • are susceptible of industrial application.

Novelty: An invention is new if it does not belong to the state of the art. The state of the art includes all knowledge that was accessible to the public in every conceivable way worldwide before the invention in question was applied for. This may be the case, among other things, through written or oral descriptions, use or exhibition. Written descriptions include, for example, books, journals and patents. An oral description is, for example, a lecture at a conference.

Information that you have published yourself is also part of the state of the art. As an inventor, always make sure to keep your invention secret before filing an application.

Inventive step: Even if your invention is new worldwide, it does not automatically have to lead to a patent. Inventive step means that the innovation must stand out sufficiently from the state of the art. Patent protection is not granted if it is an obvious and therefore small innovation.

Industrial applicability: Industrial applicability exists if the invention can be manufactured or used in any industrial field, including agriculture.

Technical invention: A patent is granted only on technical inventions. The continuous development of science and technology is constantly redefining the areas for which patent protection can be obtained.

When you apply for your invention, you must disclose it in the application documents so clearly and completely that a person skilled in the art can easily carry it out. A subsequent extension of the technical information is not permitted.

On the other hand, patent protection is not possible for, among other things:

  • Discoveries (finding something that was previously unknown, such as magnetism),
  • scientific theories,
  • mathematical methods,
  • aesthetic creations of form (you can apply for design protection for shape and colour designs),
  • plans, rules and procedures for mental activities (such as blueprints, patterns or teaching methods),
  • business activities (such as organisational models or accounting systems),
  • Reproduction of information (such as tables, forms or font arrangements),
  • computer programs as such (without technical reference),
  • inventions the exploitation of which would be contrary to morality or public order,
  • the human body at the stages of its formation and development, including germ cells, and the mere discovery of one of its components, including the sequence or partial sequence of a gene;
  • methods for the surgical or therapeutic treatment of the human or animal body and diagnostic methods,
  • Animal breeds and plant varieties as well as essentially biological processes for the breeding of plants and animals and the plants and animals obtained thereby.

If you wish to apply for a patent for an invention at the German Patent and Trademark Office, you must provide a comprehensive description of the invention that will enable a skilled person to understand and execute your invention.

A patent does not arise automatically with the application to the DPMA. Only when your invention has successfully passed the legally prescribed examination procedure can a patent be granted.

You can request the grant of a patent in writing or electronically. If you wish to submit the application in writing:

  • Print out the request for grant of a patent, fill it out and submit it to the DPMA together with the necessary documents.
  • Transfer the registration fees.
  • If you have also included the examination of the application in the application, you also transfer the examination fee.
  • Your application will now be examined for compliance with the formal requirements and obvious obstacles to patentability. In addition, your invention is classified according to its material content in a classification scheme (International Patent Classification IPC).
  • Then file the request for examination and pay the examination fee. You can also file the request for examination already in the request for grant of a patent if you tick the corresponding box. Otherwise, you can also send an informal letter to the DPMA (paper, fax, service "DPMAdirektPro"). You have seven years from the date of filing to file the request for examination. However, in order to maintain your application, you must pay renewal fees from the third year of the patent.
  • If you wish, you can also submit a fee-based search request for your application before your request for examination. In this case, the protectability of your invention applied for will be assessed and substantiated in a detailed search report, which also contains the documents that may be relevant for the examination of the patentability of your invention.
  • If you have filed a request for examination of your application, a patent examiner will then examine the prior art relevant to your invention and, if necessary, grant a patent.
  • If your invention does not meet the requirements or if your application has other deficiencies, you will be informed of this in an examination notice.
  • You can then express yourself and remedy the shortcomings. It is important that all amendments must be within the scope of the description of your invention filed on the date of filing.
  • Your patent application remains secret for 18 months, after which it is published in the so-called disclosure document. The disclosure notice appears regardless of whether you have submitted a request for examination.
  • If a patent has been granted, the grant is published in the Patent Bulletin. It can also be searched in the databases "DEPATISnet" and "DPMAregister".
  • A granted patent is valid for a maximum of 20 years, starting from the day after the application. To maintain patent protection, you must pay renewal fees for each patent and application from the beginning of the third year.
  • Your patent can be challenged by third parties – either by opposition or by an action for annulment

If you want to apply for your patent electronically:

  • You can use the free software "DPMAdirektPro" for your application. You cannot apply for a patent by e-mail.
  • You need it
    • a signature card with associated card reader,
    • the registration software "DPMAdirektPro" to create and validate the registration documents.
  • Download the software and follow the instructions.
  • Transfer the application fee and, if applicable, the examination fee unsolicited.
  • The further procedure is the same as for the written registration.
  • Your invention meets the three criteria for the patentability of inventions:
    • Novelty
    • Are based on an inventive step and
    • industrial applicability.
  • They reveal your invention so clearly and completely that a person skilled in the art can easily carry them out.
  • If you do not live in Germany and have neither a registered office nor a branch in Germany, you need a lawyer or patent attorney admitted to practice in Germany as a representative.
  • description of the invention,
  • Claims
  • drawings, where applicable,
  • Summary and
  • Designation of inventor
  • Registration fee (electronic)
    • for up to 10 claims: EUR 40,00
    • for each additional claim: EUR 20.00
  • Registration fee (in paper form)
    • for up to 10 claims: EUR 60,00
    • for each additional claim: EUR 30.00
  • Early search without examination: EUR 300.00
  • Fees in the examination procedure
    • after early research: EUR 150,00
    • without early research: EUR 350,00
  • Renewal fees (from the third year after the filing date): EUR 70.00 to EUR 1,940.00
  • Payment of the application fee: within 3 months of receipt of the application. Without payment, the registration is considered withdrawn.
  • Filing of the technical description, claims and, where applicable, drawings: together with the application
  • Filing of the summary and designation of inventor: within 15 months from the date of filing
  • Filing of the request for examination: 7 years from the date of filing. Renewal fees must be paid from the third year of the patent.
  • Payment of the search request fee: within 3 months of receipt of the search request
  • Payment of the request for examination fee: within 3 months of receipt of the request for examination
  • Opposition to the grant of the patent: within 9 months of publication of the grant of the patent in the Patent Gazette
  • Payment of the renewal fee: unsolicited at the beginning of the third and each subsequent year, calculated from the date of filing. If you do not pay the renewal fee on time or in full, the patent expires.
  • 2.5 to 3 years if you file the request for examination within the first 4 months after the application, pay the examination fee and have not filed any requests for an extension of the time limit.

Forms: Request for grant of a patent

Online procedure possible: yes

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

No authority found