A patent is a limited monopoly that is granted in return for the disclosure of technical information. In order to obtain such a right, the applicant is required to disclose his invention so that it can be used by a ‘person skilled in the art’. In return, the state issues the applicant with a patent that gives him the exclusive right to control the way his patented invention is exploited for a twenty-year period. While the protection provided by a patent is not as long as the protection provided by copyright law or possibly trademark registration, the rights granted are more extensive. The rights granted to the patent owner cover most commercial uses of the patented invention. In addition, the rights will be infringed irrespective of whether or not the defendant copied from the patented invention.
A patent can be applied for at the national and the international level (European Patent Convention). Since 2012 several components for a Unitary Patent Protection (also referred to as “the European patent with unitary effect” or the “European Union patent”) have been approved at the European level by way of regulations and a corresponding treaty. As an insufficient number of countries have ratified the relevant treaty it appears that the entry into force may still take some time.
Our firm is consulted about disputes under patent law and for technology transfers. If so desired cooperation with external technical experts takes place. We also offer advice with regard to the favourable tax measures for patent income that offer considerable financial advantages for proprietors of inventions.
In case of infringements of a patent (e.g. in case of counterfeiting) the most accurate strategy is elaborated and the corresponding legal proceedings are instituted. If so desired the customs authorities are involved in order to block infringing products.