25 years in Jena: DPMA keeps expanding patent examination in the city of innovation

Luftbild DPMA Jena

Anniversary of the Jena sub-office of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office – seeking patent examiners in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics as well as IT experts

Press release of 29 August 2023

Jena/Munich. The industrial IP rights patents, trade marks and designs are a substantial resource for a strong economy: The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) keeps expanding the Jena sub-office. In particular, the federal authority is expanding the field of patents, hiring additional examiners for the areas of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and physics. Around 70 new staff are expected to join the team in the years to come, among them IT experts. The DPMA has had a sub-office at the Goethe Galerie shopping centre for 25 years, and it is now continuing its expansion with new premises in Löbderstraße. Protecting innovations, supporting progress, fostering prosperity: That is what the DPMA stands for. The Jena sub-office was opened on 1 January 1998. 25 years on, the public authority has built an outstanding network there.

Infographic "Patent applications per 100,000 inhabitants"

Infographic "Patent applications per 100,000 inhabitants"

"The city of Jena and the German Patent and Trade Mark office are a perfect match, which you can also tell by taking a look at the innovative power in the region," Bernd Maile, Vice-President of the DPMA, said at a press conference in Jena on Tuesday, in which he participated remotely from Munich and during which the DPMA presented exclusive numbers on patent applications in the region.

For the analysis, we examined patent applications with effect in Germany published by the DPMA and the European Patent Office, without double counting. The years 2020 to 2022 are bundled. Patent applications are published after 18 months, which is why inventions newly applied for in 2022 are not yet included.

Jena well above patent application average

Patent applications in Jena are well above average. 682 patent applications are filed per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to a national average of 155.

More than half of the patent applications from the Land of Thuringia come from Jena (the exact figure is 52.6 per cent).

Top 10 applicants in Thuringia

Infographic "Top 10 applicants in Thuringia"

Among the top 10 applicants in Thuringia, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG ranks first, followed by Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH (rank 2) and NIDEC GPM GmbH (rank 3). In general, companies in the fields of optics and medical technology are strongly represented. The universities Technische Universität Ilmenau (rank 7) and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (rank 9) also made the top 10 of applicants for the years 2020 to 2022. Six organisations included in the top 10 are based in Jena.

Industrial IP rights: resources for progress, growth and prosperity

"The city of Jena and the entire region create impressive momentum for innovation,” Bernd Maile said, adding: “The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is a federal authority that considers itself a partner of the industry as well as research and education institutes when it comes to making industrial IP rights and intellectual property, guarantors for progress, growth and prosperity, usable.”

Around 50 additional patent examiners by the end of 2024

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is continuing to strengthen the Jena sub-office. In the years to come, the DPMA aims to increase the Jena staff from currently 280 to around 350. Additional patent examiners will be hired: The details of the job profile were discussed at the press conference. Engineers from the fields of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering as well as physicists can apply. Applicants need to hold a university degree (German Diplom or Master’s degree) and additionally, as a rule, have a minimum of five years of professional experience. Working time dedicated to a PhD is recognized accordingly. By the end of 2024, an additional 50 patent examiners are expected to take up duties in Jena, meaning that around 90 experts will be working in the three patent divisions. The DPMA has a mentoring system for the training of new colleagues. The office is not only looking for patent examiners, but also for experts for IT tasks. Click here for further information on career opportunities with the DPMA.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Offices has been located at the Goethe Galerie since 1998. Löbderstraße is a new location – a stronger team and additional services require more space. The new offices are in walking distance from the existing premises, making joint use of infrastructure and logistics possible.

The DPMA: well connected with driving forces of progress in Jena

Infographic – Patent applications from Jena as a share of patent applications from Thuringia

Infographic – Patent applications from Jena as a share of patent applications from Thuringia

The DPMA has been in Jena for a quarter of a century. During that time, a wide range of cooperation models in the region has been developed. Markus Ortlieb, head of the DPMA office Jena, highlights: “From the Jena Trade Mark Law Days and Jena Design Law Days to the local association for families Jenaer Familienbündnis, the DPMA is part of a well-developed and functional network in Jena.” The DPMA is the point of contact for research and education institutes and service provider for companies of any size, including start-ups. It is active in vivid dialogues with the university, innovation support on the level of the Land and high-tech companies.

History of the Jena sub-office: initiative by the Commission on Federalism

Bringing the DPMA, a federal authority, to Jena was initiated by a decision of the Commission on Federalism of the legislative bodies Bundestag and Bundesrat in 1992. Up until then, the DPMA had had offices in Berlin and Munich, its headquarters. Since it opened its doors on 1 September 1998, the Jena sub-office has become a force to be reckoned with in innovation protection in the Federal Republic. While a majority of staff commuted between Jena and Berlin during the first years, nearly all new staff could be hired directly from Thuringia and central Germany later on. After a gradual expansion in many small steps, the year 2021 marked a quantum leap for the Thuringia DPMA: Since November 2021, patent examinations are also carried out in Jena. The areas in charge will continue to be significantly expanded.

Today, the offices in Munich, Jena and Berlin as well as the Patent Information Centres make up a solid network of points of contact all over Germany. That way, the DPMA supports inventors and companies of any size.

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 protection systems.

Pictures and graphics: DPMA

Last updated: 29 August 2023