Modifications to German Patent Law as of April 1, 2014

Modifications_German_Patent_Law_2014_April_1The German government last year decided to modify parts of its national patent law. Therefore, as of April 1, 2014, the following most important modifications in German Patent Law have entered into force: - The time period to submit translations of English or French patent applications filed has been extended to 12 months after the filing date or 15 months after the priority date. If the filer does not submit the translation in time, the application is deemed to be withdrawn. - The content of the search report is extended to a provisional assessment of the patentability of the invention. As a result, the fees increase by 50 Euros. Thereby, the patent filer should have a better basis for the basis to decide if he wants to continue the patent prosecution process. - An official hearing within the examination process must now be granted in case it is requested and such hearings are in general public. - The opposition period has been extended from three (3) to nine (9) months. - Additionally, a new explicit legal structure has been created for the online access to files. This modification was necessary because of data protection and copyright laws.