Patent Application & Licensing in Germany: The most necessary Basics

von Dr. Meyer-Dulheuer & Partners LLP

We have often reported why you should protect your invention with a patent application. A patent gives you the permission to utilize your invention and enables you to forbid others the use. This is a good thing as a patent protects your investments and achievements against infringers and counterfeiters.

Additionally you gain the right to allow others the utilization of your invention against payment after your application has been processed and your patent has been granted. In the following article we’ll explain the most necessary basics of licensing and why this topic is not only noteworthy for patent holders, but for patent applicants as well.

Why is this Topic also Important for Patent Applicants?

There are at least three reasons why it is reasonable to occupy with the issue of licensing before you file your patent application:

  1. Licenses are a revenue source for inventors and companies. Anyone who allows others to utilize his invention against payment can restore at least some of the application costs
  2. The annual fees required for your patent’s maintenance are halved for every applicant who declares that he is willing to grant utilization of the invention to third parties against fair payment
  3. A lot of patent applications are filed for inventions that aren’t put into practice later on. Granting licenses prevents your patent from becoming a “sleeping member” in the register whose maintenance costs a lot of money but that doesn’t earn you any money
What does “Licensing” actually mean?

In a legal sense the term of licensing means transfering a positive right of use for the protected invention to third parties. By doing this the patent owner quasi revokes his right to forbid the utilization of his invention with regard to the licensee. If the licensee had used the invention without any license, he would have committed a patent infringement ...

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