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Patent in Germany

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  • Patent fees

Fees associated with filing patent application in Germany as well as other patent fees are available in the fee calculator.

  • Term for filing a patent application in Germany

The term of filing a patent application in Germany claiming priority is 12 months from the priority date.

  • Filing requirements in Germany

The official language of the German patent application is German. The certified German translation of an application filed in English or French may be provided within 12 months from filing the application or within 15 months from the earliest priority date, if any. If the application is filed in any other foreign language, the certified German translation should be provided within three months from filing.

The following documents are required for successful filing of a new patent application: a request for the grant of a patent, and specification, i.e. description of the invention, claims, drawings, if any, and abstract.

To confirm the priority right, the applicant must submit a сopy of Priority Document within 16 months from the earliest priority date. Certification or legalization is not required. If the priority document is not filed in English, French, Italian or Spanish, a German translation shall be filed subsequently within a month from submitting thereof. German translation of priority document filed in English, French, Italian or Spanish shall be subsequently furnished only upon invitation by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. The translation should be certified by a lawyer or a patent attorney or be done by an officially authorized translator.

The POA should be submitted only in case the representative is not a German Patent Attorney. The legalization or notarization of the POA is not required.

The applicant must designate the inventor(s) and confirm that to his knowledge no other person has contributed to the invention. If the applicant of a German patent application is other than the inventor, or, not the sole inventor, the applicant must state how the right to the invention has been acquired. This document must be submitted within 15 months from the filing date; however, the naming of the inventor should preferably be filed together with the patent application.

  • Examination of a German patent application

Patent applications in Germany undergo formal and substantive examinations. The request to conduct a substantive examination must be filed within seven years from filing the German patent application.

  • Novelty grace period

German patent application may be filed within six months after the disclosure at an official or officially recognized international exhibition or when such a disclosure was made in bad faith by any third party. The exhibition must fall within the terms of the Convention on international exhibitions signed at Paris on November 22, 1928.

  • Grant, validity term and maintenance fees

The official grant fee is not stipulated. Patents in Germany are in force for twenty years from the filing date. Annual fees are due each year starting from the 3rd one and should be paid before the expiry of the last day of the month in which the anniversary of the filing date occurs. If the fee is not paid before the expiry of the second month from the due date, it may be paid together with a surcharge of EUR 50 before the expiry of the sixth month from the due date.

  • Duration of registration procedure

The approximate processing time from filing request for substantive examination to grant is 2-3 years.

  • Utility Model

Inventions may also be protected as Utility Models in Germany, which are subject to formal examination only.

Utility models protect technical inventions, including also chemical substances, food and medicinal products, except for processes (manufacturing and working processes, measuring processes, and others).

Maximum protection period of a utility model in Germany is ten years from the date of filing.

  • Representation by a patent attorney

For a person neither residing in Germany nor having a principal place of business nor an establishment in Germany, it is required to perform patent prosecution through a registered German patent attorney or a foreign lawyer who is a national of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area authorized to represent an applicant in proceedings before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.

  • Notes

1. Online Search Databases: German Patents and Utility Models, European Patents (EPO).
2. The patent protection in Germany may also be obtained via European patent which is valid in Germany automatically.

The above information was verified by PATENTSHIP PATENTANWALTSGESELLSCHAFT MBH on 13.02.2024
Please contact us if the above information is not in conformity with German IP Laws