Virtual Mail Office

Screenshot of encryption certificate

Encryption certificate

Security plays an important role when communicating with the DPMA. The threats are manifold - regardless of whether these are hackers, viruses or Trojan horses. Aspects like confidentiality, non-repudiation, a legally binding nature or availability are of fundamental importance.

That is why the DPMA uses the Virtual Mail Office (VPS) of federal agencies for electronic communication. The data between the applicant and the DPMA are safely transmitted by the Virtual Mail Office. On the one hand, it is a direct online connection for the transmission of application data and, on the other hand, as the name suggests, it is a virtual mailbox where messages can be deposited and retrieved by the recipient any time.

The Virtual Mail Office is involved where IT security constitutes a fundamental requirement: in the encrypted and/or signed electronic data transfer between applicants and the DPMA.
The applicant may communicate electronically with the DPMA. The message received at the DPMA will be recorded, decrypted, if necessary, and checked for malware. The signature of the applicant will be verified, the message will be provided with a time stamp and a acknowledgment of receipt will be sent to the applicant. The acknowledgment of receipt contains a list of the files received by the DPMA and a document reference number (DRN), which documents the date and time of the receipt at the DPMA.

All these functions are performed centrally in an automated way. The applicants do not have to concern themselves with these security issues in their daily work since these complex functions are running unnoticed by applicants.

In a further step, the binding acknowledgement of the application, specifying the official file number, may be retrieved from VPS.

Picture: DPMA

Last updated: 2 March 2022