The German Patent System - Culture of Engineering


The efficiency and reliability of the German patent system is hailed throughout the industrial world. It is deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of engineering in our country. What initially set it apart historically from other jurisdictions was a thorough examining system, in which the Patent Office searched each application to identify relevant prior art. Based on the results, the invention was judged for novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. This was quite different to a mere registration system, where it was left to the courts to decide on patentability. Today, all 38 member states of the EPC (European Patent Convention) have an examining office. However, Germany retains its leadership in Europe when it comes to providing a fair and effective patent system. As a major industrial nation with an extremely patent-conscious industry, Germany has been very active in moving the European Unitary Patent ahead, whose implementation is currently well underway.