Organisation and Senior Management
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has been the central authority in the field of intellectual property protection in Germany for 140 years. It is the largest national IP office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world. As a higher federal authority, the DPMA operates within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. For Germany as a location for industry, the DPMA plays a key role as the guardian of industrial property protection.
The Arbitration Board under the Employee Inventions Act and the The Arbitration Board under the Act on Collective Management Organisations are also part of the organisation of the DPMA.
The DPMA employs more than 2,600 staff based at its offices in Munich, Jena and Berlin. Among their duties are the granting, registering, managing and publishing of IP rights for technical and industrial innovations. The headquarters of the DPMA are in Munich where the majority of staff, over 2,200, are located. The senior management is based in the main building of the DPMA, which is located centrally on Zweibrückenstraße, close to the river Isar.
There are several central units directly under the senior management supporting the senior management in the fields of internal communications, central controlling, corruption prevention and office data protection.
The DPMA has four Directorates General: Patents and Utility Models, Information, Trade Marks and Designs as well as Administration and Law. The detailed structure of the DPMA is shown in the Organisation Chart of the DPMA.
Directorate General “Patents and Utility Models”
In 2018, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office received 67,895 patent applications. These applications are being dealt with by about 900 patent examiners, organised in five clusters: Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Technology, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry and Physics. The examiners also handle oppositions against granted patents and conduct their own searches to keep up-to-date with the latest state of the art. Furthermore, the staff of the Directorate General process utility model applications and deal with requests for the cancellation of utility models. Their range of duties also includes arbitration proceedings under the Employee Inventions Act and the training of patent attorney candidates.
Directorate General "Information"
Dr Maria Skottke-Klein
The Directorate General "Information", headed by Dr Maria Skottke-Klein, informs the public about industrial property rights. For questions about filing patent applications and the registration of utility models, trade marks or designs, you can contact our Customer Care and Services. Our website and e-services provide access to the databases of the DPMA and allow extensive IP searches. The DPMA library, accessible to the public, holds about one million publications in the fields of science, technology and industrial property rights and more than 93 million patent documents (full texts, available in DEPATIS).
Staff members of the Directorate General are also responsible for the operation and further development of all IT systems and IT applications used by the office. These include the electronic case file, e-filing of IP applications and the development of programs for processing IP applications in an easy and effective way.
The Directorate General "Information" is responsible for coordinating cooperation with the Information and Service Centre Berlin (DPMA-IDZ) and the more than twenty regional patent information centres in Germany. It also organizes the participation of the DPMA in trade fairs and Events. The editorial offices of the Internet and intranet services are also part of this Directorate General.
Directorate General “Trade Marks and Designs”
Trade marks and registered designs, in addition to patents, are among the economically important IP rights. About 350 staff members of this Directorate General deal with all trade mark and design applications in Munich and Jena. They also examine, register and take decisions on oppositions filed against trade mark registrations as well as in trade mark cancellation proceedings. They register designs and decide on applications for determination or declaration of invalidity of registered designs.
In addition, they deal with the international registration of marks. The file administration of approximately 815,000 registered trade marks and about 314,000 registered designs is managed at the Jena Sub-Office. Furthermore, the designs unit of the DPMA is also located there, which is responsible for the examination of design applications and the administration of registered designs.
Barbara Preißner leads the Directorate General “Trade marks and Designs”.
Directorate General “Administration and Law”
This Directorate General manages the typical administrative tasks. Its staff, for example, deal with personnel and budget matters, manage buildings and organise work processes. Furthermore, they prepare statistics and are in charge of all fundamental legal issues. These include, for example, the supervision under the Act on Collective Management Organisations (CMO Act) and international cooperation with other IP organisations. The patent attorney training is also part of their duties.
Read more about our senior management and the heads of the General Directorates in the Short CVs.
Last updated: 1 June 2021