Our expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of national and international intellectual property law. In addition, we advise and litigate in the areas of license agreement and unfair competition law whereby we always look for economically viable solutions. Our main aim is to enable our clients to achieve their specific goals and business interest by providing excellent legal advice at reasonable rates.  We develop tailored concepts for registration, defense and enforcement of patents, utility models, trademarks and registered designs together with our clients in Germany as well as abroad. When introducing new products and trademarks, we assess the property rights situation and, if requested, organize searches.  The structure and development of intellectual property rights- irrespective of whether it is a question of individual property rights or a comprehensive rights portfolio – are carried out by the various specialists in our team in the fields of electrical engineering, physics, metrology, mechanical engineering, IT, process engineering and chemistry. Moreover, we defend our clients’ interests and intellectual property rights against infringements by third parties at patent offices, public authorities and before courts and arbitration courts. When we work internationally, we rely on a network of highly qualified correspondent attorneys with whom we have worked closely for many years.


Amongst our clients there are well-known national and international companies, as well as SMEs (small and medium sized businesses), public institutions, and also start-ups, associations, independent inventors and founders. Our clients especially value the quality of our work and the individual service that Keil & Schaafhausen provide in all matters concerning intellectual property rights. Many of our clients have placed their trust in us for decades.


Our history stretches back to the early days of intellectual property rights in Germany. The first German trademark law came into effect in 1894. In that same year trademark No. 46 was registered and it is still applied today. We have conducted many important lawsuits, in particular in patent and trademark law. The idea behind the famous “Red Dove” decision made by the Federal Supreme Court in 1969 stems from our law firm. However, there never existed, in fact, a “Process of breeding a dove with red feathers”. This registration was only submitted for the purpose of bringing about a Federal Supreme court decision as regards a definition of the term “technical invention.” Our predecessors succeeded in doing this.

The Federal Supreme Court developed the following basic principle: “A theory is subject to patent protection when it is based on systematic action/activities for use with controllable natural forces in order to achieve an outcome with a clear cause and effect; the systematic exploitation of biological natural forces and phenomena is not per se excluded from patent protection.”  (Federal Supreme Court –- GRUR (‘Industrial Property Rights and Copyright‘Journal) 1969, 672 - Red Dove. This is still valid today as the definition of the concept of an invention.

Since 1981 the name of our firm has been KEIL & SCHAAFHAUSEN and ranks as one of the leading law firms specialized in the protection of intellectual property in Germany. (FOCUS SPEZIAL, October/November 2014, p.112, p. 114) We of course chose a ’Red Dove‘ for our company logo. It stands, on the one hand, for our creativity in the achievement of our clients’ goals and, on the other hand, for our expertise gained by tradition and experience. WE ARE ONE IDEA AHEAD.

News archive

Follow the developments at our law firm in our News archive