The chemical industry is one of the Germany’s major economic branches and has a significant share in the country’s total exports. Chemical products figure in almost 90 percent of our everyday commodities.

Innovative and patentable ideas relating to chemistry or chemicals may emerge in areas like organic, inorganic, analytical or technical chemistry, chemical engineering or electrochemistry and may in turn give rise to new biologically degradable plastics, catalysts, lubricants, fertilisers, coating materials, adhesives, photochemical products, biosensors, organic solar cells, electrochemical products, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, to name but a few. Novel processes, too, may be born of inventive ideas and prove patentable, such as methods for the manufacturing of products of the above-mentioned type, or chemical and physicochemical processes for soil, air or water purification, methods for biogas processing or biomass utilisation, techniques in the field of analytical chemistry, and other chemical working techniques.

The formal procedures which patent applications relating to the chemical field have to undergo at the German Patent and Trademark Office or the European Patent Office are no different from the procedures which govern applications relating to other technical areas. The only difference may lie in specific legal provisions applying to patent applications in biochemistry that are aimed at micro-organisms or a peptide or nucleic acid sequence.