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Historical overview of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office

1877 - foundation of the imperial patent office

The establishment of a German patent authority was stipulated in the patent law of 25 May 1877. That authority was named Kaiserliches Patentamt (imperial patent office) and started to operate in Berlin, on 1 July 1877. On 11 July 1877, the ceremonial opening session took place at the imperial chancellery. As early as on 2 July 1877, the first German patent was granted for a 'production process for a red ultramarine colour'. The inventor was Johann Zeltner of Nürnberger Ultramarin-Fabrik.

Based in Berlin until 1945

historical building of the patent office in Berlin

Post card - greetings from Berlin

Until 1945, the office - re-named 'Reichspatentamt' in 1919 - was located in Gitschiner Strasse in Berlin. In the last days of the Second World War, the building was severely damaged. However, the major part of the library was moved off to a salt mine in time and so saved from destruction.

After the end of the Second World War the Reichspatentamt - like all other state authorities - had to cease business. In the spring of 1948, temporary receiving centres were set up in the economic territory, based on the law of 5 July 1948. They opened in Berlin and Darmstadt on 1 October 1948.

1949 - a fresh start in Munich



The German Patent Office with its seat in Munich was established by the 'law on the establishment of a patent office in the unified economic territory' of 12 August 1949. On 1 October 1949, it started operations, at first, in the undamaged library wing of Deutsches Museum, with a staff of 423.
Between 1954 and 1959, the German Patent Office moved to the atrium building Zweibrückenstrasse 12, located on the site of former military barracks. In 1959, the red brick building of the Munich architect, Franz Hart, was added in Morassistrasse.

1990 - German reunification

On 3 October 1990, the German Patent Office integrated the about 600 staff and 13.5 million patent documents of the 'Office for Inventions and Patents' of the former GDR.

1998 - Jena sub-office established, German Patent Office re-named 'German Patent and Trade Mark Office'

Since 1 September 1998, when the major part of the Berlin sub-office moved to Jena/Thuringia, the German Patent Office has been present at three locations: Munich, Jena and Berlin.

On 1 November 1998, the office was renamed 'Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt' (German Patent and Trade Mark Office) to emphasise the increasing importance of the trade mark area at the DPMA.

2002 - 125th anniversary of the DPMA

Festive illumination DPMA 125

The illuminated office

In 2002, the DPMA celebrated its 125th anniversary. Precisely 125 years after the ceremonial opening session in Berlin, on 11 July 1877, the anniversary celebrations were held at Münchner Residenz.

2005 - centenary of the patent office in Berlin Kreuzberg

On 10 November 2005, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office celebrated the centenary of the patent office in Berlin Kreuzberg.

1 October 2009 - German Patent and Trade Mark Office celebrates its 60th anniversary in Munich

The DPMA celebrated its 60th anniversary in Munich in the evening of 1 October 2009 by an illumination of the headquarters at Zweibrückenstraße 12.

© 2016 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 18/09/17