The Patent 1x1 - Basic knowledge about patents

August 11, 2022

Why patents?

Successful economic activity in civilized countries is based on constant innovation.

That is why the following legally regulated deal exists in these societies:

Technical inventions are granted a time-limited monopoly (max. 20 years) and in return the core of the invention must be made public.On the one hand, this protects investments for the commercial implementation of an invention, and on the other hand, further innovations are made possible at an early stage by being able to build on published inventions. Patents are a driver of innovation.

What can be patented?

Technical inventions can be patented by technical solutions.

The following conditions must be met

1. novelty: the invention must therefore not already be known before filing.

2. inventive step: the invention must have a certain inventive step, i.e. it must not result trivially from the prior art.

3. commercial applicability: the invention must be commercially exploitable in some way.

Example from the beginnings: Bicycle

More recent example: Fischer dowels

1. Technical problem: Fixing a screw firmly into a wall.

2. Technical solution: Use a deformable plastic with a special shape for the anchor, which deforms when the screw is screwed in so that a particularly stable hold of the screw in the wall is created.

Not patentable are:

  • A mere idea without a concrete description of the solution, such as "lift to the moon", because the technical implementation form is completely unclear.
  • Algorithms and formulas, such as "E = mc2", as not an invention invented by man, but a discory of a fact that already exists in nature.
  • Non-technical solutions, such as "escape plan for evacuating a stadium as quickly as possible".

Why patent management?

Patents are not a fun event, but are regulated by law:You have to observe the valid industrial property rights of others in order not to infringe them and thus sometimes get into serious trouble.

Companies are therefore well advised to inform themselves comprehensively and systematically about relevant IP rights of third parties and to keep up to date in order to be allowed to do what their corporate purpose is ("freedom-to-operate").

Furthermore, patent management ensures that one's own investments in innovations are used correctly in order to avoid duplicate developments (of e.g. already known solutions) and to know about and learn from the commitment of competitors.

Why patent management software?

To efficiently complete the processes of information procurement, maintenance and processing in patent management and to keep the database up to date.

What other protective rights are there?

Utility model:

  • In principle, just like patents
  • In contrast to patent applications, the content of patent applications is not subject to extensive examination.
  • Protection period only 10 years (instead of 20 as with the patent)


  • Designs protect the appearance of a product
  • E.g. the shape of the housing of a kitchen mixer
  • Protection period 25 years


  • To secure words/images for marketing
  • Duration of protection: Infinitely renewable


  • For intellectual creations, e.g. content, books, programme code
  • No application, but arises at the moment of creation



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William Gemkow
Member of the Executive Board, Kappus
Especially in the environment of fast-moving products, trends must be recognized early and implemented in recipes and production technologies for our customers - quickly but also legally secure. PATOffice and the team accompany us as partners from the inquiry to the execution. Research work – simple, effective and efficient.
All the brands and testimonials listed above are strategic partners of PATOffice | Europatent company.