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Working in EuropeIntellectual Property RightsGermany

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

In Germany, intellectual property is protected from imitation through the granting of property rights. The following property rights are differentiated between:

  • Patents (protection of new technical inventions)
  • Utility models (protection of technical innovations; in contrast to a patent, purely a registered right)
  • Industrial designs (protection of designs, patterns and models)
  • Trade marks (e.g. word and figurative marks)

Where the property rights are registered depends on the type of protection sought. If the German market suffices, you can approach the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Protection at European level can be sought at the European Patent Office. The World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) additionally offers international patent protection.

Handling of Intellectual Property Rights in Germany

On principle, researchers should ask their employers at an early stage about the handling of intellectual property, patents and inventions.

Institutions of higher education and research institutions in Germany usually comply with the German Research Foundation's (DFG) "Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice", which is supposed to safeguard good scientific practice.

Further Information

Your Europe

Information on the intellectual property rights in the European Union