Expertise is the art of
combining knowledge and skill.
And even the better if it goes hand in hand with trust and appreciation as well as respect and integrity. For over 70 years, our law firm has acted as adviser and supporter of a diverse selection of clients, from stock exchange-listed industrial companies to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual persons.
We understand our role to be the trusted partner who actively seeks and develops individual solutions for your specific needs and requirements.
In addition to the legal aspects, our work also includes support in the strategic decision-making process with respect to the protection, commercialization and enforcement of industrial property rights. The expertise of our team of experts covers the wider field that comes under the discipline of classical engineering in addition to the relevant legal issues.
Protection and security for your idea.
The area of commercial intellectual property (IP) law covers the industrial property rights of intangible goods, such as a technical invention or a trademark. The law that governs patents is probably the most well-known sub-field within commercial IP law; intellectual property is also afforded protection under the laws governing trademarks, designs, utility models and copyrights. Our services at a glance:
Registration of industrial property rights
Do you have an idea worthy of protection? Industrial property rights not only protect your business, they also promote innovation and creativity on a macroeconomic level. The main intellectual property rights are the patent, the utility model, the design, and the trademark.
Commercialization of industrial property rights
A patent does not have to be exploited by the inventor himself; it can also be licensed or even sold to third parties. You prefer not to exploit your intellectual property yourself, but still want it monetized effectively on the market? Contact us now.
Enforcement of industrial property rights
Any enforcement of industrial property rights is the responsibility of the respective rights holder. Enforcement action usually pursues two objectives: stopping concrete infringements and claiming compensation for the resulting damages. We are happy to support you.
Patent infringement and invalidity proceedings
The legal validity of a patent can be assaulted by launching opposition proceedings or by seeking a declaration of invalidity. Opposition proceedings must be commenced within the opposition period; a patent invalidity claim can be filed at any time and is not subject to the statute of limitations.
Employee Invention Law
The employee invention law strikes a balance between the interests of employers on the one side and employees who have made an invention on the other side. We are happy to provide legal advice and mediate in the event of disputes between employer and employee.
Your expertise, our focus.
Industrial property rights are the basis for sustainable business success and serve to safeguard your competitive edge. We will assure that your matter is attended to by a partner who is an expert in the technical field related to your innovation. Our technical focus areas in the field of technology and engineering at a glance:
Our law firm – a success story
since the early days of post-war Germany.
The roots of the law firm Westphal, Mussgnug & Partner date back to the year 1952. This makes the firm almost as old as the German Patent Office, which was newly founded in 1949 and is becoming increasingly important at that time. While the office only had 423 staff when it was established in 1949, staff numbers had already tripled by the year 1951. The German Patent Office, at that time occupying provisional offices in the German Museum in Munich, was bursting at the seams. By 1954 the Office counts more than 1,800 staff members, while the number of applications in the three categories of intellectual property rights – patents, utility models and trademarks (renamed “mark” in 1995) – surges rapidly.
This made for an ideal environment for one of Germany’s first interregional law firms. In 1952, Hans Westphal enters legal practice by opening his patent law office in Villingen. As a graduate electrical engineer and examiner at the Reichspatentamt in Berlin, he plays a role in jurisprudence during the “German economic miracle” almost from the very beginning. 15 years later, Klaus Westphal follows in the footsteps of his father and joins the law firm with a view on managing the successful firm’s continuously growing workload.
Three years later, the law firm is joined by its third partner, Dr. Otto Buchner, who by retaining his legal office in Munich makes the firm one of the first interregional law firms in post-war Germany. The year 1976 saw Dr. Bernd Mussgnug joining the firm, which from then onward traded as Westhal, Mussgnung & Partner.
Dr. Peter Neunert and Robert Göhring joined the firm as new partners in 1993 and 1994 respectively, with Bernhard Schmuckermaier and Michael Bickel coming on board as partners in 2001. The year 2007 saw Dr. Stephanie Modrow becoming the firm’s partner. The latest additions to the team are Dr. Sebastian Schneider who joined the firm in 2012. In 2019, Bernhard Schmuckermaier takes his well-deserved retirement. Heike Bischof succeeds him and becomes a partner in the firm. Dr. Clemens Rakenius becomes a partner of the firm in 2022, while Dr. Peter Neunert retires.
Our successful law firm continues its expansion from its base in Villingen-Schwenningen and operates offices in Munich (Germany) and Linz (Upper Austria).