Heyerhoff Geiger & Partner

ActivitiesPatents and utility models

solar cell

Not only global corporations, but many a boss of a small or medium sized enterprise can join in the same lament: No sooner have you developed a technological innovation, at considerable expense, than you go to a trade fair and find your own invention on a competitor’s stand. Copied to a T, and not only that - but at half the price.

If no technical intellectual property rights have been registered, there is usually very little you can do to prevent the competitor from marketing his copy. By obtaining a grant of patent or registering a utility model, however, the applicant – provided no older third party rights exist – has the exclusive right to manufacture, use and market his product for a limited period of time. An intellectual property right of this kind makes it possible to prohibit the competitor from copying and commercially exploiting the protected product. This monopoly position is the applicant’s reward for his creativity and his investments in the development.

Rather than, or in addition to, a company itself exploiting the patent or utility model, licences can be issued as a way of earning revenue from this product.

It is often assumed that a patent is only granted for revolutionary inventions, and no patent application is filed for this reason. However, the majority of patents are granted for improvements to existing ideas, which, while not revolutionary in themselves, can secure a decisive technological advantage for the proprietor over his fellow competitors, and this forms the basis of economic success.

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