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Employee inventions

The distinction between employee invention and independent invention is of key importance to university employees and universities.

Employee inventions can only be made within the scope of an employment. Any person who is not (or no longer) employed at a university, for example, as a university teacher, employee or worker cannot make an employee invention in relation to the university. Students as such are not employed at a university. However, if the students also work as research assistants in parallel to their studies, they are employed at the university. The same applies to postgraduates: the mere academic supervision of their doctoral theses does not turn them into employees, but an employment (also part-time) at the institute of their doctoral supervisor does. Likewise, visiting researchers do usually not have an employment contract with the host university.

European Patent Convention (EPC)

The Convention on the Grant of European Patents is an international agreement setting out rules for the grant of European patents.

European Patent Office (EPO)

The EPO grants patents, based on a centralised procedure, that are valid within all or individually designated EPC member states. By filing a single European patent application it is possible to obtain patent protection in several or all EPC member states. The patent application is centrally examined at the European Patent Office. After grant, a European patent is treated as a national patent in each country of validation.

European Patent Organisation

The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation, based on the EPC, whose members are the EPC contracting states.

EUIPO

The European Union Intellectual Property Office registers and manages Union trade marks and Community designs that are valid in the European Union.
EUIPO is a legally, organisationally and financially independent institution of the European Union (EU agency), based in Alicante, Spain. EUIPO has about 700 staff.

Examination request (patent)

A patent can only be granted if the invention is found to be patentable. The relevant examination is carried out upon request only. The request for examination can be filed by the applicant or a third party within a period of seven years from the filing date.

Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht)

The Federal Patent Court was founded in 1961. It is based in Munich. The court deals with disputes in the area of industrial property protection, for example, appeals from decisions of the examining sections and divisions of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office as well as on actions for the declaration of the nullity of a patent and compulsory licence proceedings. It is a court of ordinary jurisdiction. It comes under the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, like the DPMA and Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice).

Filing date see Application date.

Figurative mark

Figurative marks are pictures, graphical elements or images (without words or word elements).

Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs

Agreement concerning the registration of designs with international effect. Presently, a total of 60 countries are party to the various Acts of the Hague Agreement, including Germany, France and also the European Union; the USA, Japan and the United Kingdom a.o. are not party to this agreement. The Locarno Classification sets out the classification for designs applied for.

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Last updated: 15/08/18 

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