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Patent Law Firm

Dr. Keller

We protect your innovations.


The patent protects technical inventions. It is granted for inventions that are novel, are based on an inventive step, and have industrial application. The owner of a patent is entitled to prohibit others from using the invention. No one may utilize the patented invention without the consent of the patent owner. In other words, no one may produce, offer, market, or import products protected by the patent or to use patented methods. In Germany, a patent has a lifetime of a maximum of 20 years.

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A patent application can be filed essentially in any country in the world. There are treaties that enable the grouping of applications in various countries.


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A European patent application makes it possible to obtain patent protection in up to 38 European Contracting States of the European Patent Convention by a single examination and grant process. After the European Patent is granted by the European Patent Office, it is validated in the selected individual countries. In view of the different national requirements, the validation in various Contracting States is associated with high validation costs, which is the reason why the Unitary Patent will be introduced presumably in 2017.


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The Unitary Patent and the Unitary Patent Court are the first pieces of the European Unified Patent System. Unitary Patents will make it possible to get patent protection in up to 26 EU Member States by submitting a single request to the EPO. After the referendum of the UK to leave the European Union it remains unclear whether and when the Unitary Patent System will come into force. London was designated as one major place for a central chamber of the Unitary Patent Court.

It is the aim of the Unitary Patent to decrease validation costs because no validation in the Contracting States will be necessary following grant of the patent. Revocation proceedings for European Patents or Unitary Patents can not be unitarily decided by the Unitary Patent Court. This eliminates the need for national nullity proceedings at the national patent courts. During a transitional period of 7 years, there is the possibility for patent owners to declare an Opt-out for their existing EP patents, which means that the national courts remain competent over the enforcement of the EP-Patents for which the Opt-out was declared and registered.


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An invention can be registered in many countries worldwide with an international application (PCT application). A nationalization or regionalization of the international patent application in the desired countries is necessary usually 30 (in some cases 31) months after the filing of the first patent application. The patent grant process then proceeds in the selected countries. The PCT application makes possible a centralized examination of the patentability of an application in a single process before the initiation of the national/regional phases. This results in a significant saving of cost and time in many countries.


Read more about intellectual property rights by patents in our "FAQ" >>

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since 1927