Applicants having a domicile, a seat or an establishment in Germany do not have to appoint a legal representative for proceedings before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). They can file applications for IP rights and requests themselves. Nevertheless, it may be useful to engage a patent attorney or an attorney-at-law experienced in IP protection even before filing an application.
A yearly updated directory of German patent attorneys (published by the German chamber of patent attorneys) is available at the enquiry units. It is accessible here.
Applicants - even German nationals - having neither a domicile, nor a seat nor an establishment in Germany can only take part in IP proceedings before the DPMA if they are represented by an attorney-at-law or a patent attorney authorised to practice in Germany (Sec. 25(1) Patent Act, Sec. 28(1) Utility Model Act, Sec. 96(1)Trade Mark Act, Sec. 58(1) Design Act). Under certain conditions, persons having neither a domicile, nor a seat nor an establishment in Germany may be represented by patent agents [Patentassessoren] (Sec. 155(1) no. 2 and (2) Patent Attorney Code) or holders of certificates of representation [Erlaubnisscheininhaber] (Sec. 160 Patent Attorney Code in conjunction with Sec. 178 Patent Attorney Code in the version in force until 31 August 2009).
Instead of the above-mentioned persons, nationals of a Member State of the European Union or a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area can be appointed as representatives if they are authorised to use a professional title which is comparable to German attorneys-at-law or patent attorneys (Sec. 25(2) Patent Act, Sec. 28(2) Utility Model Act, Sec. 96(2)Trade Mark Act, Sec. 58(2) Design Act). If, in such cases, no domestic representative is appointed to receive service of official communications, service of communications in proceedings before the DPMA is provided by registered letters lodged at the post office (Sec. 94(1) no. 1 Trade Mark Act, Sec. 127(1) no. 2 Patent Act in conjunction with Sec. 21(1) Utility Model Act and Sec. 23(2), 3rd sentence, Design Act).
The list of professional titles which are comparable to German patent attorneys is available here (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/pazeignprg/anlage_13.html).
The list of professional titles which are comparable to German attorneys-at-law can be consulted here (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/eurag/anlage_60.html).
© 2013 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | 30.04.2013