From the invention to the patent

How to protect intellectual property

The Invention

An invention can be applied for a patent if it fulfils the following criteria:

  • Novelty
  • Inventive step
  • Commercial applicable
Nearly every kind of announcements of an invention before the day of filling to patent office can invalidate the criterion of the novelty.Therefore, every patent application precedes a search. Patentsearching by your own can be done by services offered by the national patent offices (see right column).
Typical forms of the announcements / publications are scientific articles, existing patents, talks, publications on web pages and/or also submitted abstracts.Professional searches can be commissioned to the patent information centre.

The German patent and brand office informs about patent protection and registration.

Seminars on the subject intellectual properties / patents can be organized by the technology transfer office.

Invention disclosure to the employer, patent application and the priority year

Every employee is legally obligated, according to employee's invention law, to disclose an invention to his employer. The disclosure has to be done by an invention disclosure form.

The essential content of an invention disclosure is:

  • Names of the inventors
  • Description of the state of the art
  • Technical description of the invention
  • Patent claims
  • (drawings)


After elaboration of the patent content in cooperation with our patent lawyers office, the invention is will be generaly filled first in Germany.

Within the first year after the filling date of the German patent, it has to be determined, whether other national applications should be done.

The picture below shows a typical time line of a German and European patent application process.

Subsequent applications in other countries / regions

The following patent applications are possible within 12 months after the first registration:

  • Registration in a certain country
  • European patent application
  • Patent application within the international "Patent Cooperation Treaty" (30/31-month PCT procedure)
  • The base for foreign registrations is a reasonable interest in the protection of the invention outside of Germany.
We offer the following services before the foreign registration:

  • Company research
  • market research

The following pricture shows a typical time line of a patent application according to the PCT procedure: