Square Primary Color

IP rights in figures


icon in force


patents in force on 31/12/2021

icon concluded

48,489 (+16.1 %)

examination procedures concluded

icon published

21,113 (+22.0 %)

grants published


-5.7 %
Applications in total and change in %


-5.5 %
including applications from abroad

88.5 %

Online applications
(National patent applications)

Utility models

icon in force


utility models in force on 31/12/2021

icon concluded

11,337 (-7.3 %)

registration procedures concluded

icon published

9,972 (-7.1 %)

with registration


-14.1 %
Applications in total and change in %


+4.1 %
including applications from abroad

64.9 %

Online applications
(National utility model applications)

Trade marks

icon in force


trade marks in force on 31/12/2021

icon concluded

91,613 (+15.1 %)

registration procedures concluded

icon published

68,597 (+13.5 %)

with registration


+3.6 %
National applications in total and change in %


-1.5 %
including applications from abroad

78.0 %

Online applications
(National trade mark applications)


icon in force


designs in force on 31/12/2021

icon concluded

5,607 (-7.5 %)

procedures concluded for a total of 34,487 designs

icon published

4,775 (-6.8 %)

with registration for a total of 31,083 designs


-16.3 %
Registered designs in total and change in %


-29.5 %
including applications from abroad

91.2 %

Online applications
(Design applications)

Screenshot aus dem Video zu Schutzrechten

Four property rights that everyone should know

How can I protect my ideas? Useful inventions, successful designs and memorable brands can be very valuable economically. In this video on our YouTube channel, you can find out which property right comes into question for you.

The video is only available in German.

Dear users, if you follow this link, you will leave our website to access an external link from YouTube.

PrefaceDear Reader,

We live in disturbing times. War, climate change, pandemic: Several epochal crises are challenging us at the same time. We at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office are not excluded from this, of course. We too are shocked by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. As a modern, cosmopolitan service provider for IP rights, we, together with our customers and partners around the world, are part of a network based on international cooperation. The development of innovations, the creation of trade marks and designs also means competition. This is a good thing, because competition, as we understand it, is constructive, productive, peaceful and geared towards progress and prosperity. Our ideas of international cooperation stand in the greatest possible contrast to Russia’s destructive actions.

Porträt Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer

You cannot solve every crisis or every problem by technical means. However, where technology can make a contribution, we see ourselves as part of the solution. Because we protect your innovations! And we tackled this task with vigour in the past year. Our examiners granted patents for 21,113 inventions in 2021. This is almost a quarter more than in the same period of the previous year. In total, our colleagues concluded 48,489 patent procedures — the largest amount in more than 30 years. We also saw record numbers in the trade mark area: 68,597 new national trade marks were entered in the register by our experts — more than ever before.

We are very hopeful that innovation will contribute to solving global problems, not least with regard to climate change. Two central topics in this context are climate-friendly mobility and power generation from renewable energy sources. In this annual report, we have explored how patent applications are developing in these areas. A dynamic innovation landscape is indeed necessary in the field of renewable energy sources in order to become, as soon as possible, less dependent on fossil fuels and thus foster the energy sovereignty of Germany and Europe. How Germany is doing overall in the global innovation ecosystem explains Carsten Fink, Chief Economist of the World Intellectual Property Organization, whom we interviewed for this report.

But our annual report does not only offer interesting stories on technical IP rights. You will also learn, for example, how trade marks, known as use-based trade marks, can be effective without registration. And product designer Nadja Roth explains from her point of view why registered designs are so important for technical devices too.

I hope that this annual report will be an exciting read for you. Stay confident, curious and healthy despite all the crises!

Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer
President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Bereich DPMA

Tasks and organisationThe German Patent and Trade Mark Office: first-hand service and quality.

DPMA in München

Our staff are able to very closely witness the “Land of Ideas” on a daily basis. It is the ideas of our customers who consciously choose the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) to protect their know-how. This is because effective action against plagiarism and counterfeiting is possible, above all, on the basis of IP rights: Patents, utility models, trade marks and designs effectively protect intellectual property — be it a technical invention, a creative trade mark or the colours and shapes of a new product.

The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights and operates within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Justice. We grant patents, register utility models, trade marks and designs and manage these rights. Furthermore, we inform the public about industrial property rights, implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international IP systems further.

With just under 2,800 staff in more than 100 working entities, the DPMA is based at four locations:

  • Munich
    DPMA headquarters including senior management, administration and legal divisions as well as patent, trade mark and utility model divisions, arbitration boards
  • Jena
    Sub-office with administrative and IT units as well as design division, another trade mark division and three patent divisions that are being established
  • Berlin
    DPMA Information and Service Centre
  • Hauzenberg
    Branch office with several teams for provision of information and for Customer Care and Services

In organisational terms, the DPMA is divided into four Directorates General:

Directorate General 1 — Patents and Utility Models

  • More than 1,000 patent examiners organised in five clusters (Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Technology, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry and Medical Engineering as well as Physics) with 40 patent divisions in total
  • Utility model and topography division
  • Patent and utility model administration

Directorate General 2 — Information

  • Information services for the public and internal information services: database search, library, classification systems, Customer Care and Services, Internet editorial office
  • Support of the 19 German patent information centres
  • Operation and further development of all information technologies of the DPMA

Directorate General 3 — Trade Marks and Designs

  • 13 teams in three divisions for trade mark examination
  • Trade mark cancellation division
  • Design division with design unit

Directorate General 4 — Administration and Law

  • 16 specialist areas in four divisions, occupational health management
  • All administrative tasks, including personnel and facility management, organisation as well as budget and legal affairs
  • Patent attorneys and other agents as well as supervision of collective management organisations under the Act on Collective Management Organisations (Verwertungs­gesellschaftengesetz)

Organisation chart

Senior management

Porträtfoto Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer
Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer
Porträtfoto Bernd Maile
Vice President
Bernd Maile
Porträtfoto Ulrich Deffaa
Vice President
Ulrich Deffaa

Heads of the Directorates General

Porträtfoto Dr. Maria Skottke-Klein
Directorate General 1
Patents and Utility Models
Directorate General 2
Information (acting Head)

Dr. Maria Skottke-Klein
Porträtfoto Barbara Preißner
Directorate General 3
Trade Marks and Designs

Barbara Preißner
Porträtfoto Katharina Mirbt
Directorate General 4
Administration and Law

Katharina Mirbt