By applying for a German patent, you may protect technical inventions that are new and are based on an inventive step. If the German Patent and Trademark Office GPTO finally grants a patent, your invention will be protected for a period of up to 20 years from the application date. Within this period the patent confers an exclusive right to its owner to exploit the invention. However, only technical inventions, i.e. no business methods, ideas, schemes or rules are accessible to patent protection. There are special regulations in relation to software patents in Germany. Please refer to software patents for more information.
Documents required for a German patent application
In order for the GPTO to examine your patent application, you have to submit comprehensive documents. The following documents are required::
- A technical description of your invention
- Claims (which determine the scope of protection of the patent)
- Drawings (optional)
- A summary as well as
- A declaration of inventorship