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Conduct searches before filing an application

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We recommend you to perform a search covering previous designs and gain information on registered designs prior to filing a design application. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office does not check whether similar or identical designs are already registered. Possible infringement of earlier rights is later determined by the civil courts when there is a dispute.

Searches within the databases of the DPMA

You can conduct free searches for German registered designs in the DPMAregister database. In addition to legal status information on existing designs you can also view representations of the images of designs.

Searching EUIPO and WIPO databases

You can search the databases of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) or of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Searches for Community designs or internationally registered industrial designs are important because these designs may conflict with your German design right.

For more information on searches, please see our information leaflet pdf- Datei Design Searches Online

Register excerpts and file inspection

You can order certified and non-certified register excerpts. You can obtain these excerpts against payment of a fee of 20 and 12 EUR, respectively. Subject to a fee of 15 EUR you can obtain paper excerpts on the designs portfolio of a given applicant.

With a request for file inspection you can order copies of the case file of a design registration.

Help and advice

  • You can contact the enquiry units of the DPMA in Munich, Berlin and Jena.
  • The search support database hotline (phone: +49 89 2195-3435) will be pleased to answer your questions.
  • Expert staff provide assistance in the search rooms of the DPMA in Munich (phone: +49 89 2195-2504) and Berlin (phone: +49 30 25992-230, -231). In the search rooms you can use the vast library of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and carry out searches in relation to your designs application or inspect files.
  • Searches for identical designs are also offered by Patentinformationszentren (patent information centres), commercial information brokers and search agents.

© 2016 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 07/12/16