Our Strategy, our Projects

Bereich DPMA

Insight Our Strategy

many people stand together like an arrow, Photo: iStock.com/elenabs

In 2022, too, we intensely worked on our strategy process. We completed some important measures with success, coming closer to the achievement of our strategic goals.

For example, in our fields of action “Products and services” and “Staff”, we made great progress with regard to the following measures:

Electronic administrative work: This project paves the way for the introduction of the federal e-file (E-Akte Bund) at the DPMA as the basis for electronic administrative work not relating to the IP areas. We will implement our cloud-based approach to electronic file keeping and case management in a pilot project and then successively roll out electronic administrative work across the DPMA. This means that, in the future, the fulfilment of our administrative tasks will also be almost completely paperless and digital.

Electronic IP case file for designs: Based on the long positive experience gained with respect to patents, utility models and trade marks, we are currently working on the provision of a fully electronic process-oriented case file processing system for designs as well. In the design area, we will then offer our customers digital interfaces, e.g. for applications and the submission of additional documents. We use the existing horizontal services on the basis of the existing service-oriented architecture.

Electronic communication with external parties: In the future, we will provide an electronic communication platform as part of a web conference with external participants. The platform will enable quick and efficient communication both with customers and with our cooperation partners. There are particular challenges to data protection and data security. In the patent area, video hearings have been possible since mid-2022. For a detailed report on this project, please see the next article.

We were also able to develop our process and quality management systems. We will continue building on an intense dialogue with our users in order to continuously improve our services and processes. Alongside established boards such as our User Advisory Council, we also conduct customer surveys and exchange information and views directly with our customers in order to identify their needs and respond to them.

The field of action “Staff” focused, among other things, on shaping an attractive and modern working environment. With the possibility of fully electronic case file processing, we can offer our staff a considerable degree of flexibility in doing telework and mobile work. Additionally, we are testing ways to ensure that our staff are regularly present in the office in order to continue the traditionally strong bonds among DPMA staff. For a detailed report on the DPMA working world, please see here.

In view of the demographic change, the DPMA still focuses on knowledge management. We have set up a coordination unit to organise the work on knowledge management at the DPMA.

As a customer-oriented, process-oriented and digital authority, we will continue providing our applicants and our partners with modern and efficient high-quality services in the future.

Bereich DPMA

Our Project We are there for you — on all channels

Cooperation through secure and efficient digital communication: As a modern service provider, our aim is to offer our customers and our partners the best possible services in this area too. By providing an electronic communication platform, we have extended our range of services — bringing varied benefits to all parties involved.

Video conference exchange: Hearings can now take place digitally too. Photo: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

With the project “Electronic Communication and Collaboration with External Parties”, the DPMA meets the goals of the Second Act to Simplify and Modernise Patent Law (Zweites Gesetz zur Vereinfachung und Modernisierung des Patentrechts), according to which video and sound transmission has been permitted for hearings since 1 May 2022. Following our strategy to provide the best possible services and offer our customers the greatest possible benefit and according to our digital roadmap, we have introduced modern formats for communication and proceedings in the context of this project, thus creating another important element for comprehensive and secure digital communication with our customers.

Electronic communication platform: web conferences and secure exchange of data

An electronic communication platform for web conferences with external participants allows multimedia communication not only with our customers but also with our cooperation partners. Using contemporary work methods and continuously working on the initiation of the required amendments to laws and ordinances together with the Federal Ministry of Justice correspond to our guiding principle of a digital service provider. For example, the DPMA continues its work on enabling the legally secure electronic submission of documents in a digital hearing via the established data exchange platform.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the measure “Electronic Communication and Collaboration with External Parties”, originally scheduled for 2021 in the digital roadmap of the DPMA, was started earlier, namely in July 2020.

We were able to complete the two-stage overall project in October 2022. With the first part, which was finished as early as February 2021, we initially established an emergency solution for dealing with emergency cases that met the minimum standards of the DPMA and that allowed the virtual DPMAnutzerforum or online job interviews to be held, for instance.

With the second part, we additionally enabled digital hearings in the Directorates General “Patents and Utility Models” and “Trade Marks and Designs” and the participation in virtual events of external service providers. In addition to the technical concept, the project included the clarification of complex legal issues, e.g. concerning the use of a data exchange platform and the provision of WLAN access to physical participants.

Timely and successful project completion

The project team had to face ever new challenges, e.g. various measures for buying video conferencing equipment including related licences and an adequate licensing concept, the selection of hearing rooms and the installation of equipment in these rooms, the selection and configuration of the web conference platform and extensive consultations with the data protection and IT security teams. But final tests with different partners from the DPMAnutzerforum and the necessary training were ultimately successful, so the system could start to operate on time in October 2022.

Digital hearings save our customers time and cost and are another component in the constantly growing range of the digital services we offer.