In general, the patent attorneys provide advice in questions related to the protection of intellectual property. They represent their clients before the responsible authorities and courts in connection with application, grant, registration, appeal, cancellation and nullification procedures. They furthermore act nationally and internationally in legal proceedings regarding patent law violations.
The main areas of expertise are:
Patent attorneys draft patent and utility model applications based on detailed, technical discussions with the inventors. These applications describe and disclose technical inventions. The patent claim defines the desired range of protection.
The patent application process is carried out by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, the European Patent Office or other foreign patent authorities after the invention application has been filed. The invention is then discussed by a panel at the respective office and, if necessary, the patent claims are modified after the invention has been compared with the current state-of-the-art technology.
Trademarks serve as a means to show where goods and services come from; this way goods and services from various makers or providers can be differentiated from one another. Trademarks identify goods or services by being well-designed, individual and catchy. Descriptive or non-distinct information isn’t acceptable. Colors, color combinations, slogans and company names can also be a part of a trademark. Trademark protection only applies to concrete, identifiable goods and services.
A “design” denotes the manifestation of a product (for all industrial or mechanical objects) or a part of it that can be derived from the lines, contours, colors, figure, surface, text, material or ornamentation of an industrial design. Protection can be obtained for visual representations as well as 2 and 3D illustrations.
Our office has an international network at its disposal and works very closely with other offices in every area of the world. We have daily contact with carefully selected offices, particularly in North America, Japan, Korea and China, and stay in very close contact with the attorneys there. On the one hand this provides us with the opportunity to secure protection abroad for our clients’ new inventions at the lowest possible price; on the other, we are able to represent and assist foreign companies in the protection application process in Germany and Europe.
Patent attorneys negotiate and work out license agreements. By using a license agreement, the licensor can grant the licensee the usage rights for the object subject to protection. In return, the licensee pays a license fee. The license agreement is a type of contract that strictly follows liberty of contract guidlines.
According to patent law, an inventor has the right to a patent for his or her invention. The law relating to employee inventions details how the rights to the employee invention are passed on to the employer.
Inventions become so called “service inventions” when they come from the employee’s incumbent area of activity within an enterprise or are significantly based on experience gained from or the work done at the workplace.
It is the employee’s responsibility to separately give the employer written notice of a service invention as soon as it has been completed. The employer then has 4 months to give the employee a written explaination if he or she does not want to make use of, claim or take responsibility for the invention. Prior to October 1, 2009, the employer had to explicitly and formally take over the invention, or else it became a free invention.
If the employer claims the invention, the rights to the invention are also transferred over to him or her. It is, however, the employer’s responsibility to apply for a patent or, if it is more cost-effective and suitable, a utility model for the invention. The employer must pay a reasonable compensation for the use of the invention.
After information about an employee invention, the responsable person in the company should do the following three things: confirm that notice has been recieved, note the four-month deadline and check that the notice contains all of the pertinant information. This would be: what do the known solutions look like? What disadvantages are there? An applicable example: what makes the invention so new and different? What are its greatest hallmarks? How was it invented? Who had given the inventor the task? Had previous work already been done in the process? Are there other people involved other than the inventor?
We are happy to take care of all necessary actions and duties in order to ensure that our clients conform with employee invention law. Here are some examples of what those could be:
- the inventor/s releasing the invention
- confirmation from the inventor/s regarding the claim
- clarification of which people are involved with what parts of the invention
- corresponding with the inventor/s and preparing patent application documents
- calculation and payment of the inventor’s remuneration
- release of the invention abroad, including conditional joint-use rights when necessaery
- providing property rights for its use, including conditional joint-use rights when necessary
After the invention has been claimed, agreements can be made with the inventor/s in order to make it easier to use and follow the rules and regulations. We can gladly advise you personally about these issues, so that your rights can be secured with the least amount of time and trouble.
Are intellectual property protection rights (patents, utility models, trademarks, designs) always only seen from your enterprise’s cost-management point of view? Do you sometimes ask yourself what your patents or trademarks are worth? Would you like to sell or buy protective rights, but don’t know what prices are suitable?
“Intellectual property” resulting from research and development is gaining more and more value for enterprises right now in the innovative European world. Lawmakers accomidated for this by making it possible for people to enter and activate intellectual property created and produced on one’s own in their balance sheets by passing the Accounting Law Modernization Act in Germany (BilMoG). This concerns in particular intellectual property protection, such as patents, utility models, trademarks and designs, and their worth here.
Trademarks and patents also have an ever-greater role in credit collateralization today. Credit limits can be expanded by pledging intellectual property protection or transferring securities for intellectual property protection to a creditor. Valuable patents and/or trademarks owned by an enterprise can be very beneficial, because they can be used a means of reducing interest rates. A protective rights portfolio even plays an important role when selling an enterprise.
The first step is getting an appraisal of an enterprise’s current stock of protective rights done, in order to determine what it is worth. You can find complete know-how all in one place at DREISS Partners Patent Attorneys. We can give you an accurate value appraisal for your protective rights with the information you give us. Our comprehensive technical and judicial team can also conduct due diligence processes, in which, most importantly, the legal aspects of the intellectual property protection at hand are clarified. We can do all of this for you not just for individual protective rights, but also for complete protective rights portfolios. We can also assess your application strategy by using our background knowledge of selected competitors’ strategies, for example.
When we are finished, you’ll have all of the information you will need when you have to talk with your bank, compile your financial records and/or announce your application strategy.
You can protect three-dimensional structures of microelectronic semiconductor certificates (topographies) with the Semiconductor Protection Law. In order to obtain protection, you must register the topographies with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.
Plant variety rights for a type of plant (variety) are granted when they are distinguishable, homogenous, stable, new and are labeled with a usable variety name. In order to receive plant variety protection, a variety protection application should be filed with the Federal Office for Plant Varieties.