How do you recognize an invention?

How do you recognize an invention?

An invention can be a new machine, substance, method or process. It can also be an improvement of these if it is significant, novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. Furthermore, you should have put your inventive idea into practice.

The German Patent Act describes in detail what is not considered as an invention: discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, aesthetic creations, maps/schemes, rules and methods for performing mental activities, for games or for business activities, as well as programs for computers/data processing equipment and output of information.

The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) states: It is however not sufficient that an invention is new compared to prior art. The invention must also involve an inventive step of significant height. Even if an invention is new, it can not be patented if a person skilled in the art can easily find the solution. This criterion ensures that not every little new step leads to a property right, which then blocks the progress in the relevant area.

See also here.


German Patent Act

German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
booklet about patents

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