More information services for intellectual property protection

The DPMA is given a legal mandate to intensify the provision of information to the public and strengthen cooperation with other European and international authorities in the field of intellectual property – Amendment as an important element of the innovation initiative in Germany

Press release of 7 September 2021

Munich. The Act on Further Duties of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and to Revise the Patent Costs Act (Gesetz über weitere Aufgaben des Deutschen Patent- und Markenamts und zur Änderung des Patentkostengesetzes) of 30 August 2021 has been promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) part I p. 4074 on 7 September 2021.

The Act is another element of the current innovation initiative in Germany aiming to intensify protection and promotion of innovations and achieve greater effectiveness in this field.

The Act, which has been promulgated today, adds a new Section 26a to the Patent Act (Patentgesetz), which expands the responsibilities of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). So far, Germany has lacked a central agency with responsibility for information and public relations on all IP issues and for explaining the effective use of the IP system to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular. There was also a lack of a central point of contact for European, international and other national offices, which have become increasingly active in this field in recent years. Therefore, Section 26a of the Patent Act specifies that cooperation with IP offices in other countries as well as European and international authorities should be efficiently expanded. The DPMA is expecting a corresponding staffing level in the course of the coming year. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

"Especially in times of technological change, we see a strong need for more information on the protection of intellectual property rights. For this reason, I am very pleased that the DPMA, as a renowned centre of expertise, has now been given the statutory mandate to inform small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in Germany as well as the public at large about IP protection mechanisms and to work together effectively with IP offices in other countries as well as with European and international authorities within the scope of its remit," commented DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer.

In order to enhance the attractiveness of patent protection and thus the innovative capacity of the German economy as a whole, the efficiency of the DPMA in patent examination procedures is to be further increased. In this context, a moderate fee increase will be implemented that is compatible with innovation. The annual fees for patents have remained unchanged for quite some time. After about two decades, the fee adjustment will take effect on 1 July 2022. It aims at reducing the inflation-related decline of the fee level. The higher fees to be paid for the maintenance of protection as the patent term progresses do no longer sufficiently fulfil their innovation policy steering function because they have in fact become “cheaper” due to inflation. The fee adjustment is intended to again strengthen this innovation policy steering effect, also taking into account the increased range of services of the DPMA. In connection with the fee adjustment, the duration of patent examination is also to be significantly reduced by establishing further patent examination posts.

Another component of the innovation initiative to accelerate the patent examination procedure is the Second Act to Simplify and Modernise Patent Law of 10 August 2021, Federal Law Gazette Part I p. 3490, promulgated on 17 August 2021 Press release: Second Act to Simplify and Modernise Patent Law

More detailed information on the Act on Further Duties of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and to Revise the Patent Costs Act of 7 September 2021 and on the Second Act to Simplify and Modernise Patent Law of 10 August 2021 is available by following the link to a notice of 7 September 2021 on our Internet pages.

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 – patents, utility models, trade marks and 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 just under 2,800 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services to inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international IP systems further.

Last updated: 7 September 2021