Intellectual Property

Intellectual property rights include all legal provisions that deal with industrial property rights (e.g. patents, trademarks, etc.). Competition law is also included in the area of intellectual property protection.

Intellectual property protection essentially aims to protect intellectual property against unauthorized third-party use and the associated commercial usability of one’s own intellectual achievements and creations.

Zu den gewerblichen Schutzrechten im Bereich gewerblicher Rechtsschutz gehören im Einzelnen:

  • Patents (protection of inventions)
  • Trademarks (protection of product names)
  • Utility model (protection of inventions – “small patent”)
  • Designs (protection of aesthetic designs)
  • Semiconductor protection (protection of three-dimensional structures of semiconductors)
  • Plant variety protection (protection of newly discovered plant varieties)


In order to obtain protection for the respective intellectual creation, it is usually necessary to register with a responsible authority (e.g. German Patent and Trademark Office – DPMA) in the area of intellectual property protection. In some cases you can obtain protection simply by using it in legal transactions.

The area of intellectual property protection is regulated in numerous national laws (e.g. Patent Act, Trademark Act, Utility Model Act, etc.). Intellectual property protection is also characterized by a large number of European and international regulations, e.g. the Community Trademark Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 40/94), the European Patent Convention (EPC) or the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Trademarks (MMA).

On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about the area of intellectual property rights.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of intellectual property rights: