It is essential for companies to be competitive. Legal protection based on intellectual property rights is an important instrument for strengthening the position of a company in comparison to competitors. IP rights comprise patents, utility models, trademarks, business designations and registered designs (design patents). These rights are state-conferred monopolies which form market barriers and change competitive positions.
Intellectual property rights protect products, methods, trademarks, business designations and designs from undesired use by others. The legal framework of IP law can be used to destroy obstructive IP rights of competitors or to limit their effect. Moreover, a company has to react in case that rights of competitors are claimed.
Intellectual property rights belong to the day-to-day business of companies, in Germany, as well as in Europe and internationally. Intellectual property rights are established worldwide.
In particular, it is expected from companies to be informed of any IP rights of competitors and to have their scope of protection examined.
The law relating to employees’ inventions is of major importance in companies. Firstly, it is important to ensure that valuable technical ideas of employees are transferred to the company. Secondly, it is essential to fulfil the legal obligations towards the employee inventor.