In addition to trademark and design rights, technical property rights in particular, i.e. patents and utility models, are an essential part of protecting newly developed products or processes. Apart from originality, another prerequisite for the grant of a patent is an inventive step â an innovative approach that goes beyond merely combining properties that are already known. The same applies to protections as utility models, even if the Patent Office does not perform a substantive check of this, in an effort to afford the quickest protection possible.
In exchange for publication of his idea, the applicant is then granted the right to the sole production, marketing and use of his or her invention for a maximum of 10 years (utility model) or even 20 years (patent). This gives the patent owner an opportunity to solidify his or her unique selling points and to protect against unwanted imitation.This protection is always territorially limited to the country in which the patent application has been made, but nowadays there are a number of international agreements that permit extension of this protection to many other
countries all over the world without much effort.