Types of protection

Patent: A German patent has a term of 20 years. For medicinal products for pediatric use, once the patent expires, it may be extended under certain cirmcumstances for up to five years by supplementary protection certificates and for a further period of up to six months.1

Utility Model: A Utility Model provides fast and low-cost protection of technical inventions. This kind of protection is available for chemical substances, food and pharmaceuticals, but not for processes, such as manufacturing, working or measuring. Unlike a patent that can take years to obtain, a utility model may be registered within a few weeks after filing the application. Filing a utility model application can ensure a qualified, enforceable intellectual property right and can last for up to 10 years from the filing date.2

Registered Design: A Registered Design protects the design of three-dimensional objects. A design may also be registered for two-dimensional patterns. The registration grants an exclusive right to use the design and prohibit others from using the design without consent. Protection begins when the design is entered in the Designs Register and can last for 25 years from the filing date.3

Convention and treaty membership

Germany became a member of the European Patent Convention in October 1977 and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in January 1978. They are also a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • Strasbourg Agreement
  • Hague Agreement 4

International, National and Regional applications

For information regarding how to file international, regional or national patent applications in each country, we welcome you to contact us.