More procedures completed, again rising number of applications: forecast of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office for 2017 – consultations for inventors at iENA

Press release of 30 October 2017

Nuremberg/Munich. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has so far completed more procedures in 2017 than in the same period last year. At the end of September, the number of procedures completed was 4.7 percent higher than last year's figure. This means that, compared to the previous year, a higher year-end total of completed procedures can be expected. "Even with the large number of procedures completed, quality is our top priority", says DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, commenting on the forecast on occasion of the international trade fair iENA ("Ideas – Inventions – New Products") in Nuremberg and adds: "We support our highly qualified examiners with ever more powerful IT systems." The number of patent and trade mark applications as well as search and examination requests should also be higher in 2017 than in the previous year. The office expects 68,000 patent applications in 2017. With respect to trade marks, the DPMA currently expects the number of applications to be just under 75,000 this year.

DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer: We need more examiner posts

"The development clearly shows that our services are highly attractive even in a globalised economy and that they are in higher demand than ever", emphasises Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer and adds: "I've often heard that we have the gold standard of the international patent system. Our approach is confirmed by the great demand, especially from foreign customers." In the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, the DPMA President is calling for strengthening the office by ensuring good staffing levels. "Our customers are justified in their request for reliable, high quality IP procedures to be completed within an appropriate time frame. Against the backdrop of demographic change, we finally need a demand-oriented supply of posts in order to be able to fill the posts with highly qualified engineers and scientists for patent examination", says Ms Rudloff-Schäffer, adding: "We now call upon the policy-makers to strengthen the IP system, which is essential for innovation and growth. Other important patent offices abroad, such as the Chinese, US, Brazilian and UK patent offices, are also significantly increasing their staff."

The DPMA is one of the few federal authorities that is financed entirely by fee income and, at the same time, generates growing surpluses. Over the past three years, the surplus for the federal budget was constantly above 170 million euros. The DPMA expects significantly more than 170 million euros for this year too. "We can continue to achieve or even increase this income if we have more staff available for our challenging Services", comments Ms Rudloff-Schäffer.

Consultation for inventors at the fair stand – services offered on new homepage

At the iENA fair, the DPMA once again offers visitors an extensive information programme. “Small and medium-sized companies as well as the numerous independent inventors' workshops reflect the diversity of our innovation landscape and are particularly close to our hearts," emphasises Ms Rudloff-Schäffer and continues: “Therefore, every year we look forward to talking to creative inventors at the trade fair and to helping them with information and advice.” For more than 20 years, the office has been an exhibitor at the iENA fair. At the four help desks of the fair stand, experts will be providing visitors with information on the IP protection. At the weekend, patent attorneys will offer initial consultations for inventors there. Guests from international and regional organisations will also contribute to enhancing the information on offer. The DPMA is expecting, for instance, representatives of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Nuremberg patent centre at the fair stand.

For a few weeks now, the DPMA has been presenting itself in an even more user-friendly manner also on the Internet. Thanks to larger pictures, a new design and an improved structure, the new website of the office features a clearer layout. Also the numerous digital services are now even more easily accessible: on the homepage there is a direct link to the online filing service DPMAdirektWeb, which is specially tailored to trade marks and designs. The DPMAdirekt service can also be found there. The IT application, named DPMAdirektPro, will soon enable not only the electronic filing of applications and subsequent submissions but also the digital transmission of communications, office actions and decisions of the DPMA to the customers.

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, it is committed to Germany’s future as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its roughly 2,600 staff based at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – are service providers for inventors and companies. They implement the innovation strategies of the Federal administration and develop national, European and international IP systems further.

Last updated: 30 October 2017