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Overview protectable categories and copyright
A patent may be granted for a technical invention that is new (does not belong to the current state of the art), involves an inventive step (not obvious from the prior state of the art), and can be commercially applied (capable of being produced or used in an industrial field).
An important aspect for the patent application is that the invention has not been published in any way beforehand. A patent can only be granted if the novelty of the invention is given, i.e. the invention has not been made available to the public either orally or in writing (this includes publications and lectures as well as posters, doctoral theses, diploma theses, research proposals, etc.). If it is necessary to present the invention to project partners, for example, please contact the Knowledge Transfer unit on time. In any case, it is advisable to conclude a non-disclosure agreement. The lawyers of the Research Services & Technology Transfer directorate can support you in this.
After an invention disclosure has been filed, a novelty search is first carried out on the current state of the art. After this research, the scientists involved in the invention are asked to comment on the results in order to determine technological and substantive similarities and delimitations to the prior state of the art. If, after commenting, all requirements for a patent application are met and the invention has been claimed by the TU Darmstadt, a first application giving rise to a right is usually filed immediately with the German Patent and Trademark Office. In some cases, however, it makes sense to postpone the application, e.g. in order to await further results or to coordinate the timing of the patent application with further development and exploitation activities. This is agreed on a case-by-case basis between the Knowledge Transfer unit and the scientists.