Research is at the heart of it all. Prior to the registration of property rights and also while maintaining your existing portfolio, you should keep a good eye on the market. In that way, you can stay on the safe side and effectively prevent risks. Important instruments include due-diligence and freedom-to-operate research, research on the validity of intellectual property rights or on the state of the art, as well as trademark research. When it comes to research, you can also count on our expertise. For us, these measures are part of our daily business—and part of our legal passion.
In order to identify and minimize risks in conjunction with intellectual property rights for you in good time, we use modern tools and databases that go far beyond standard research. For this purpose, we have a full-time research department with three employees. Based on our research, we can provide you with specific recommendations that will help you to effectively expand your IP strategy.
Due-Diligence- und Freedom-to-Operate-Recherchen
All market participants who create innovations, risk getting caught up in the legal areas of other companies. This is where due-diligence reviews are recommended. They help to identify risks relating to intellectual property rights in due time. In the course of our research we analyze all property rights and other agreements of our clients: patents, appropriate registrations, and licenses, as well as trademarks, designs, and other rights. In order to determine whether your innovations are free of third-party rights, we also carry out freedom-to-operate (FTO) research. This is where we examine the property rights of important competitors. In order to do so, we have developed powerful tools and processes with which we can use the appropriate data banks sensibly so as to achieve meaningful results. “Do I really have the exclusive right to my patent?” “Is my product sufficiently protected?” With our due diligence and FTO research we help you to answer these and other questions and to understand and evaluate the position of your company.
Research on the validity of intellectual property rights
Great care and diligence is called for when dealing with property rights, which also concerns the issue of validity. For example, when it comes to patents and utility models, there is a risk that you no longer set yourself apart from the current state of the art at the time the patent is granted. And the question of ownership should also be checked regularly. Especially when company names are changed, the property rights also have to be adapted accordingly. And what about the property rights of others for which you might wish to purchase a license? Here too, their validity has to be checked in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. We’ll support you in both cases with research, expert opinions, and detailed advice.
Research on prior art
In order to register a patent or utility model, your technical invention must be new when compared to prior art. This is the case if it has not yet been made publicly available in this form—including through own publications, for example at trade fairs or congresses. So be sure to keep your invention strictly confidential before patent application. Careful research—with which we will gladly assist you—can then tell you whether your idea is actually new and has the makings of a patent or utility model.
If you wish to protect your product as a trademark, you should choose an appropriate name—and keep a wary eye on the market. This is where research and careful considerations can prevent nasty surprises. For example, the name should be concise and easy to pronounce, and fit the respective product, however, without directly describing it. Depending on where you want to use the trademark, cultural and linguistic aspects also have to be taken into account. The characters of other languages also have to be considered. In addition, you should ensure that your brand name does not overlap with the scope of protection of older rights holders, which may lead to you receiving a formal warning. In the worst case, you risk having to discontinue using the new name completely. The domain can be a first indicator: If it is still free, you should reserve it early on, in order to give you the option of setting up an online presence. Special databases can be searched for identical names. However, although the market now has dozens of such search tools, not all of them provide the same, reliable results. That is why it is advisable to consult experts like us at an early stage. We’ll keep an eye not only on your competition, but also on the entire portfolio of your company, and will provide you with important impulses for finding the right brand name.