Where Germany’s independent inventors are based

German Patent and Trade Mark Office presents regional analysis on occasion of the iENA – extensive range of information offered at the trade fair – continuing demand for German IP rights

Press release of 12 October 2018

Munich/Nuremberg. Bavaria is the Land (federal state) with the most active independent inventors. With 764 patent applications from this group in 2017, Bavaria is top of the list of German Länder (federal states) in this category in the statistics of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). It is followed by North Rhine-Westphalia with 609 and Baden-Württemberg with 573 inventions applied for. In terms of population size, Bavaria is also in the lead with 5.9 applications per 100,000 inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg ranks second (5.2 applications), Berlin comes third (4.1 applications).

On occasion of the 70th anniversary of the iENA trade fair ("Ideas, Inventions, New Products", 1-4 November 2018 in Nuremberg), the DPMA analysed for the first time the distribution of these independent inventions across the individual Länder ( pdf-Datei full chart here for download; pdf in German only). The distribution results from those patent applications in which the same person is identified as applicant and inventor in the application documents. In 2017, this was the case for 3,096 applications. That is 7.1% of the total number of applications in the past year. The vast majority of the remaining applications are filed by companies or research institutes. "Our analysis gives us a better overview of where Germany’s independent inventors are located," said DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer. "The independent inventors often work in their own workshop and without a large development department in the background. Therefore, what they are achieving is particularly remarkable."

Information offered at the iENA from 1 to 4 November 2018

The DPMA's offer at the iENA is also aimed in particular at independent inventors as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. This year, the DPMA will once again provide intensive information on the various types of industrial property rights: patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. On each of the four days of the trade fair, six experts will be available to visitors at the stand (hall 3 C, stand D 01). On Saturday and Sunday, two patent attorneys will also be available for initial consultations for inventors. Appointments can be made at the DPMA stand. In order to provide an even more comprehensive service for visitors, the office has once again this year invited experts from other national and international organisations. "Independent inventors and small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly close to our hearts," emphasises Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer. "This is another reason why the iENA is such an important event for us every year."

Patent and trade mark applications remain at a high level

At the same time, intellectual property rights from Germany continue to be in demand internationally. In its projection for the current year, the DPMA expects the same high level of applications for patents and trade marks as in previous years. The number of patent applications in the last two years had been just under 68,000 – higher than ever before. The number of trade mark applications last year was a good 72,000. Domestic demand for both IP rights declined slightly in the first seven months of the year, while demand from abroad again increased significantly. "The fact that the figures are back at such a high level is a vote of confidence in our view. The quality of our work is obviously very much appreciated abroad."

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – for patents, utility models, trade marks and registered designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of over 2,600 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services for inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international protection systems further.

Last updated: 14 May 2024