Patents protect technical inventions which are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.
An invention shall be deemed to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art. This comprises all knowledge made available to the public before the date governing the filing or priority date of the application by means of a written or oral description, by use or in any other way (Sec. 3 para 1 German Patents Act). The content of patent applications having an earlier filing or priority date referred to in Sec. 3 para 2 of the Patents Act, which were made available to the public on or after the date governing the filing or priority date of the later application shall also be deemed to be comprised in the state of the art. A description, use or other disclosure of the invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred no earlier than six months before the filing of the application and if it was due to, or in consequence of an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or his legal predecessor or a display of the invention at an official, or officially recognized, international exhibition published in the Federal Law Gazette (Section 3 (5) of the Patents Act). Applicants are advised to carefully check the state of the art before applying for a patent. We support the applicant in carrying out and evaluating searches.
An invention shall be deemed to involve an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art (Sec 4 para 1 Patents Act) and thus exceeds the skill of the average expert (invention level).
An invention shall be deemed to be susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture (Sec. 5 para 1 Patents Act).
Unity of the invention
The application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept (Sec. 34 para 5 Patents Act). The requirement of the unity of invention is met if there is a technical relationship between the inventions manifested by one or more of the same or corresponding special technical features.