The subject of a planned patent application must be novel and must have not been made available to the public before the filing date. Otherwise, the invention will be rejected as not being novel. Therefore, it is imperative for every inventor worldwide to maintain secrecy about his or her invention.
In addition to the German patent, whose protection is limited to Germany, there is also a European patent. For globally operating companies, it is also possible to apply for international protection in further countries with just one so-called PCT application. This simplifies the worldwide application process.
In addition to the patent, there is the possibility of registering a technical invention as a utility model. This “small patent” is a so-called unexamined property right, which is therefore often granted quickly. Such a utility model is of interest, for example, for smaller inventions or simple further developments.