Patent and intellectual property rights

The appropriate patent or intellectual property rights strategy for the invention depends on the one hand on the individual innovation strategy of the university and on the other hand on the possible scope and market potential of the invention. Using this as a basis we develop specific recommendations and strategies for your University.

PROvendis checks: We perform patent searches in both national and international databases and research relevant commercial opportunities using appropriate market and competition analyses. In many fields there are specific aspects to be taken into consideration. For example, in the field of medicine when patenting surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic methods, and with possibilities to protect drug substances (particularly first and second medical indication) or also in the field of biotechnology, such as for gene sequences, organisms, microbiological processes.

PROvendis recommends: We prepare a detailed, written evaluation of each invention or even an entire patent portfolio. These are based on the results of extensive research and the analyses of the market and competition. Using this as a starting point PROvendis then develops a basis for decision-making for the university with specific recommendations for the intellectual property strategy. 

PROvendis accompanies: We support you in the preparation of the appropriate application for intellectual property rights. In this process, PROvendis and the university decide upon the appropriate patent attorney and organize the entire application process. The PROvendis team monitors all intellectual property law time limits and takes over the communication with patent attorneys and offices. 

Intellectual property right opportunities for universities:
A patent protects an invention that has a technical background. The invention must be novel and inventive compared to the prior art and must also be "industrially applicable", i.e. can be made or used in some kind of industry, including agriculture. Patent protection provides the most comprehensive protection. It applies for up to 20 years in the respective country. Besides patents there are several other intellectual property rights that can be used to protect an invention. 

The utility model, often referred to as a “minor patent”, may also be used to protect an invention. A utility model is also registered for inventions that have a technical background. Also for a utility model, an important requirement is that the invention is novel and inventive prior to art. The difference to a patent is that the duration of protection is shorter. Additionally, the novelty of the invention is not officially verified. A utility model is valid for up to 10 years in the respective country and the requirements regarding the inventive step are somewhat lower.

A design is used to protect the new and unique appearance of a product. Any two or three-dimensional design may be protected through a design. This type of protection is not only applicable to individual products, but also to combinations, kits, assemblies, drawings and much more. The period of protection of a registered design is 25 years. The design has been the most important strategic tool in many branches of industry because technical aspects are included in the scope of protection. A product may be subject to a patent / utility model and design at the same time.


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D – 45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr
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