Patent protection in Germany: German patent application at a fixed price by a German Patent Attorney
If you have you made a technical invention and want patent protection for it in Germany – e.g. if you need a German patent application (“DE patent”) – our German Patent Lawyer (German Patent Attorney / European Patent Attorney) will be glad to help you! In case there are no objections from the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) in Munich, you will receive a patent application in Germany with our support starting from a low-cost attorney fee (fixed price) of 1,500 € (plus official fees of the German Patent and Trademark Office – DPMA in Munich). This includes e.g. the costs for the consultation in German patent law as well as the preparation and filing of the German patent application (online) at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO / DPMA) in Munich. Contact our German Patent Law Firm and IP Law Office right away or find out more about our range of services for patent applications in Germany here.
In our Patent Law Firm and Industrial Property Law Office (“Patent and Trademark Bureau”), our German Patent Lawyer (as well as “European Patent Attorney”, i.e. European Patent, Trademark and Design Attorney) with more than ten years of experience in patent law will prepare and supervise your application.
We also assist in further applications of a technical invention (e.g. in further countries or regions):
The patent protection in Germany (German patent) can e.g. include the following types of patents:
- Product patent: Registered patents give protection for technical inventions and improvements of products (objects or devices, e.g. everyday inventions, machines or parts thereof)
- Process patent: Protection of processes or manufacturing methods for the production or manufacture of an object or the use of a product for a specific purpose
Our service offers for the application of your patent in Germany:
Preliminary search for prior art by us (can also be ordered separately before an IP application): Depending on the package or your individual budget specification, we conduct a search for prior art that could be opposed to your application. Since the search is carried out before the IP application is drafted, it is possible – if relevant prior art is found – to give up the drafting of an application and thus save costs.
Not for: Inventions in the field of biology and/or chemistry.
The higher the budget for the research, the more extensive it can be carried out, so that the probability that relevant prior art isn’t discovered is reduced. Unfortunately, however, this cannot be completely ruled out.
Attention: In the end, a research always provides only a more or less rough overview of the existing state of the art and does not claim to be complete. This is based on various factors. For example, patent applications are not published until 18 months after the filing date, i.e. relatively newly filed inventions cannot be found – even with a very comprehensive search.
“Express processing” of the application by patent attorney: For an additional fee of 25 % on the offer for the application (but at least 500 €) your application will be processed by us with priority. After the order has been placed and payment has been made and if the requirements and all information (or drawing(s)) are met, you will receive the draft for the application within two weeks. In the case of particularly urgent applications (e.g. before trade fairs), even a faster processing is also possible – if necessary through the payment of an additional surcharge.
Preparation of professional drawings: For 100 € per drawing we prepare drawings in accordance with the formal requirements.
Search request: For 100 € (plus 300 € official fees) we file a search request and forward the search report together with the documents found by the German Patent and Trademark Office in digital form together with our offer for the analysis. An analysis of the search report and the found documents is not included in the price.
► Request for acceleration: If you are interested in an accelerated processing of the search by the German Patent and Trademark Office, we can file a (non-binding) request for acceleration. However, the Patent Office is not bound by this request and the request for acceleration can also be rejected. We can offer you this service for 100 €.
Examination request: In order to obtain a patent, the examination procedure must be successfully completed. For a German patent application, the request for examination must be filed within seven years. If you are interested in a faster patent grant in Germany, you can file a request for examination – for 100 € (plus 350 € official fees) – immediately upon filing the application. We will forward you the examination communication together with the documents found by the German Patent and Trademark Office in digital form as well as our offer for a reply to the examination report. An analysis of the examination report and the found documents is not included in the price.
► Request for acceleration: If you are interested in an accelerated processing of the examination by the German Patent and Trademark Office, we can file a (non-binding) request for acceleration. However, the Patent Office is not bound by this request and the request for acceleration can also be rejected. We can offer you this service for 100 €.
Examination of the disclosure document: A patent application is published after 18 months. For a flat fee of 100 € we are happy to check whether the disclosure document is in accordance with the documents filed.
Parallel utility model application in Germany: For an additional 350 € (plus 30 € official fees) we file a parallel utility model application adjusted to formal requirements with identical content in Germany (without claims for proceedings).
Parallel utility model application in Austria: For an additional 1,595 € (including official fees) we get you in contact with our Austrian colleagues, so that they can file a parallel utility model application with the same content in Austria adjusted to formal requirements. If there are more than 10 claims, additional official fees will be charged. In contrast to a German utility model, a certain examination of the claims takes place in Austria. If there is an objection, it has to be answered. The response to official communications is calculated according to the time and effort involved, and we will provide you with an appropriate offer in advance. The official fees include a search, which is obligatory in Austria, as well as the publication fees. It is generally possible to amend the claims in the registration procedure, namely within two months after receipt of the search result. If amendments have to be made, this will be calculated according to the time and effort involved and we’ll provide you our respective offer.
The official fees include a search, which is mandatory in Austria, and publication fees. An amendment of the claims in the registration procedure is usually possible within two months after receipt of the search result. If amendments are to be made, the fee is calculated according to the time spent.
► Request for acceleration: If the processing of the utility model application in Austria is to be accelerated, a corresponding request can be filed for 200 €.
Frequently asked questions in connection with patent protection in Germany:
According to Section 1 (1) of the German Patent Act (PatG), patents are granted for any inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application. A patentable invention can concern products, devices as well as processes.
A protectable invention must be new, must be based on an inventive step and must be industrially applicable. According to Section 3 (1) German Patent Act, an invention is considered “new” if it does not form part of the state of the art, the state of the art shall be held to comprise all knowledge made available to the public before the date governing the filing or priority date of the application by means of a written or oral description, by use or in any other way. In contrast, an invention is considered to be based on an “inventive step” if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. Finally, there is “industrial applicability” if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.
In Germany, for example, discoveries as well as scientific theories and mathematical methods, aesthetic creations of form, the human body in the individual phases of its formation and development, including germ cells, as well as the mere discovery of one of its components, including the sequence or partial sequence of a gene, cannot be protected by a German patent. Patent protection in Germany is therefore excluded for this areas.
A registered German patent is registered solely in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. If a patent shall be protected in other countries besides Germany (e.g. in Austria or Switzerland), protection must be claimed separately. Alternatively, protection in Germany and other European countries can be achieved via a European patent (EP patent).
If you do not have your technical idea or invention patented or protected by a patent or utility model, it can basically be imitated, copied and adopted by third parties without being able to do anything against it. A registered patent defines the scope of protection of the patent, creates a monopoly right and enables action to be taken against imitators. For example, third parties are prohibited from manufacturing the patented product in Germany, offering it, placing it on the market or importing or possessing it for the aforementioned purposes without the consent of the patent holder. In addition, a registered patent can be highlighted in advertising, e.g. with a reference to a “patented product” or “patent protection in Germany”. Furthermore, licenses can be granted to a protected patent or a sale of “the idea” is possible.
In general, it is advisable to not wait too long before filing a patent application if the invention is completed, as third parties may file first. However, in any case, patent protection should be applied for before publishing or presenting the idea to third parties.
There are various differences between a patent and a utility model in Germany. Whereas a patent application is examined by the German Patent and Trademark Office, there is no examination procedure for a utility model. It is thus an unexamined intellectual property right. Another important difference is the significantly shorter maximum term of protection of a utility model of only ten years. In contrast, the maximum term of protection for a patent is 20 years. Unlike in patent law, utility models have a grace period of six months, whereas any prior publication is detrimental to novelty in the case of a patent application.
Unfortunately, the question of whether a German patent or a German utility model is better cannot be answered in a generalized way, since both industrial property rights have advantages and disadvantages. Although a utility model application leads to lower official fees (e.g. for renewal), it is often taken less seriously than a patent as an unexamined intellectual property right. However, relatively quick protection is possible via a utility model, since it often only takes a few weeks from application to registration. In contrast, the examination procedure for a patent application often takes several years. Ultimately, it depends on the individual circumstances for which protective right one choses. Often, a double protection by patent and utility model is applied for in order to benefit from the advantages of both IP rights.
The costs of patent registration in Germany depend on the scope of services required. These consist of the official fees of the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO / DPMA) (as well as our fee if we are allowed to assist you). The official fee for filing a patent in Germany is only a 40 Euro. In addition, there may be costs for the search or examination procedure.
Overview of official fees for a patent application in Germany:
Theoretically, you can prepare and apply for a patent in Germany yourself, but this is generally not advisable – especially if you do not have extensive experience in this area and the corresponding expertise.
On its website, the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) conveys the impression that all you have to do to apply for a patent in Germany is to fill out a few forms and you will receive a patent, but this is very abbreviated and kind of misleading. For a (good) patent application, the most important thing is the exact wording of the patent claims. Basically, it is no great deal to get a particularly narrowly formulated patent granted. However, this is often worth nothing, since a corresponding patent may give only very limited protection against imitators.
Sometimes, applicants who have filed a patent application themselves and then received a notice of objection from the patent office contact our office. If we are then commissioned to save what can be saved, the result is unfortunately often worse (and sometimes more expensive) than if it had been done by a specialist, since one is limited to the scope of the first application.
Against this background, it is predominantly advisable either to have the application done by a specialist or don’t do it at all.
When filing a patent application, the details matter. Applications filed by “laymen” often aim for a too narrow or too broad scope of protection and often do not protect what is actually intended to be protected. In addition, there are various “standard errors” that can lead to objections and ultimately to rejections by the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO).
The scope of protection of a patent (e.g. the claims) can only be limited after the patent application or even the granting, but not extended. Here, one is limited to the scope of the originally filed application documents.
In course of the examination of a patent – after filing the request for examination and payment of the examination fee – a patent examiner usually searches quite extensively for possibly conflicting prior art. However, the focus is on whether the invention meets the criteria of “novelty” and “inventive step”.
Even if a patent has been registered, it unfortunately does not mean that the product based on it does not infringe any third-party patents or utility models.
Procedure of a patent application in Germany (with our assistance):
➔ Order & payment ➔ Draft (optionally: prior search if necessary) ➔ Filing of the application and forwarding of the official fees after your approval
- ➔ if search request has been filed ➔ search for prior art by German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO)
- ➔ if request for examination has been filed (at the latest 7 years after filing date) ➔ search for prior art and examination by German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO)
➔ if novelty and inventive step compared to prior art are given (and formal requirements are met): grant of patent and issuance of certificate
➔ if novelty and inventive step compared to prior art are not considered to be given: Issuance of an examination communication with setting of a time limit by the GPTO in order to remedy objections by means of comments and, if necessary, amended claims ➔ if successful, then grant of the patent, if not, further examination communication or hearing (in the case of a rejection decision, there is the possibility to take action against it)
After the patent has been granted, you may advertise the protected invention, e.g. with a notice such as “patent protection in Germany”, “patent protected”, “patented in Germany” or similar, as long as the patent is in force.
A patent at the German Patent and Trademark Office can be renewed – upon payment of the renewal fees – up to the maximum protection period of 20 years.
Unlike a German trademark, a patent does not have to be used in Germany. Therefore, non-use is not a reason for revocation of the patent. There is no obligation to use a patent and no grace period for use.