When entrepreneurs apply for a patent, they protect their inventions from imitators and economic threats – this is even possible internationally. stand in this post the most important contents and requirements of this most important industrial property right.
Patent protection: A necessary security for inventive business ideas
Germany is known to be an inventive country. In recent years, many innovative start-ups have shaped the founding scene with new business ideas in Germany. This can be confirmed by official figures: Seen worldwide, Germany has been increasing in the number of patent applications for many years top places a.
If you want to become self-employed with a technical invention, you should pay attention to this important property right to strengthen your own competitive position. After a successful patent application, there is security for a period of 20 years that nobody can simply imitate this idea. Entrepreneurs acquire a exclusive right for the use of patented inventions. It is therefore a matter of defending one’s own competitive position. This protection can even be guaranteed internationally if an expansion strategy is laid out in the business plan right from the start.
The application is made at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA, external link). The legal basis is laid down in the Patent Act (PatG, external link). Because the entire process complex and every formulation is important, an experienced patent attorney should be consulted in any case.
Necessary documents and planning aspects when starting a business
When planning, founders should note that the registration can take a long time and is associated with not inconsiderable costs. In addition to the unique fees for the audit assignment and legal advice, the annual fees up to the expiry of patent protection after 20 years should be considered. In order to ensure comprehensive and therefore reliable protection, it comes up extremely precise formulations on. All central and unique technical features must be taken into account when patenting. The patent office will then carry out an in-depth examination on this basis and examine all the documents very carefully. Apart from the technical description of the invention are the following documents necessary to apply for a patent:
- Drawings (if necessary for the meaningfulness)
- Clarification of the scope of protection of the patent
- Naming the inventor of the idea
- Compact summary of the business idea with a maximum of 1,500 characters
Apply for a patent: An important prerequisite for long-term planning security
It is important to know that a patent application is not possible for every supposedly congenial invention. Anyone who wants to use this important property right must do the following with an invention or application criteria can clearly fulfill:
- Novelty/Uniqueness: In order to meet the “novelty” criterion, nothing comparable must be available on the market at the time the patent application is filed. This shows impressively why a thorough market and competitor analysis for start-ups is critical to success in every respect. The product innovation presented must surpass the current state of the art. Furthermore, no similar terms or formulations may be found in other patents. This shows how complex the delimitation can be in individual cases, for example if the technical innovation is only based on a functional detail.
- Definition of an “inventive step”: The possibility of patent protection can only be used if the new product is characterized by a certain inventiveness that is not immediately recognizable. A person skilled in the art should not see at first glance that there is a close proximity to the current state of the art in the relevant area. The idea presented must be technically clearly distinguishable from existing solutions! Otherwise there is no possibility of patent protection.
- Criterion of “industrial applicability”: The focus here is on the practical use or marketability of the invention, which also includes the topics of marketing and sales. There must be a high benefit that promises an attractive business idea. After all, protection through a patent must be about seeking economic opportunities and protecting them permanently. Anything that obviously doesn’t work or doesn’t meet market demand is unlikely to be patentable. This point makes it clear that the patent application does not have to be done for its own sake. In the definition of a commercial activity, there is talk of a permanent intention to make a profit. Exactly such a thing must be able to be implemented with the presented invention – at least theoretically. For the reasons mentioned, it is advisable to create a marketing strategy for starting a business.
Since it takes a certain amount of time to apply for a patent, entrepreneurs can do the same Check alternatives. In practice there is one utility model a common alternative to the time-consuming patenting process. In principle, the same rights can be used with a utility model or figurative mark as with a patent. A key difference, however, is that the manufacturing process of a utility model is not protectable. In contrast to patenting, a utility model is an unexamined property right. The above requirements of novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability are not checked. A utility model can therefore be used in a shorter time, but it offers less protection than a patent. This should be clear when considering both options.
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