140 years of industrial property protection in Germany: Traveling through time with German Patent and Trademark Office

This year, the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) celebrates its 140th anniversary as an authority. During its long journey it has adapted to many changes and through its constant evolvement it has gained its place as number one of the national IP offices in the Europe.


(Source:DPMA website


The DPMA was first established in Berlin on 1 July 1877 as the Imperial Patent Office to answer the needs of booming industrialization. After the World War II, the headquarters of the federal authority was moved to Munich, were they are still located today. In 1990, the authority experienced its rapid growth phase, when 600 employees from the Office for Inventions and Patents of the German Democratic Public with more than 13 million patent documents entered the house as a result of the reunification of both German states.


With more than 850 patent examiners, some 100 trademark examiners as well as 1,550 of other staff members, the DPMA is nowadays one of the leading national centers of expertise in IP in Europe. To keep up with the future challenges, the DPMA invests in highly skilled experts as well as smooth procedures by means of high quality electronic systems. E-services constitute one of the key elements of DPMA´s success, as more than 140 patent and 300 trademark procedures are conducted electronically every working day. DPMA`s e-services enable customer friendly online application filings, IP search procedures as well as electronic transmissions.


What does it mean to be the leading European IP office in practice? In numbers, it means over 130,000 patents, trademarks, utility models and designs alone in 2016 as well as income of nearly 395 million euros the same year. Furthermore, in addition to the great number of patent and trademark applications, the DPMA handles some 600 customer enquiries and 4,400 payment transactions daily.


140 years is a great milestone for the DPMA. Counting on advanced technology solutions and great global network, the DPMA is determined to keep its place as a forerunner of IP offices in Europe.

To celebrate its anniversary, the DPMA is currently releasing each month a short insight to its long history. In order to travel in time with the DPMA, please see the publications here.