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Patent offices in Bavaria – a centre for more innovation protection

Patents, utility models, trade marks, registered designs or copyright – there are a number of options to protect inventions and innovations. Two offices based in the state deal with the protection of intellectual property: the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, DPMA, and the European Patent Office, EPA.

The fact that both institutions are based in the Bavarian regional capital is not a coincidence. As the state is the national record holder for applications based on technical and inventive activities, which are also suitable for industrial application and new, with its 15,867 DPMA patent applications in 2016 alone.

Importance of the EPA and DPMA


The EPA and DPMA remit includes the registering, managing and publishing of intellectual property rights for exclusively technical and industrial innovations. The primary goal is to strengthen economic growth and competitiveness. The European Patent Office’s core activity is to check and issue European patents and is bound by the European Patent Convention and its contracting states. The office also works closely together with other patent offices worldwide.

Compared to the European office, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office is the interface between the idea and implementation of innovations in Germany. The DPMA, which has been around for 140 years, therefore contributes considerably to the state’s general competitiveness with its head office in Bavaria. The statutory duty to inform the public about valid IP rights valid is met by the DPMA with its publication and search services available on the Internet and by the EPA with Espacenet.

Bavaria, a national record holder


The EPO had 159,353 patent applications to process for the selected EPO contracting states in 2016, of these most applications were from Europe with 48 percent and 16 percent of them were in turn from Germany. The registered patents from roughly 40 countries mainly come from medical technology, digital communication, computer technology, electrical energy and the transport segment. The DPMA alone had the most German applications from Bavaria with a share of 32.7 percent and therefore 15,867 patent applications in 2016. The state’s most important fields of technology were transport, electrical energy and machine elements.

Besides the most active national companies, like Robert Bosch GmbH, Schaeffler Techn. AG & Co. KG and Daimler AG, young talent at Bavarian universities also presented their motivated spirit of innovation with 78 patent applications.

The advantages of patents for start-ups


A number of requirements are specified to apply for a patent for an invention. The <link>Information for Patent Applicants<link> form from the DPMA provides assistance with this. Even though the patent application has to be prepared in detail, taking this step towards a patent can produce important benefits. As owners of patents have the privilege of the sole use of the invention for a limited time and restricted area. In addition, you have the legal advantage of banning the competition from any non-authorised, commercial use. As a result, it is easier for many start-ups to derive economic benefits from their invention in the event of there being a high level of demand for the patented invention. However, it must be noted that an issued patent has a maximum validity of 20 years despite the annual fee. The intellectual property right can only be extended by another five years in certain cases.

The Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding patent applications. If you have any other questions about establishing a business please do not hesitate to contact Invest in Bavaria.