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National, European and international cooperation

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is the central granting authority at the federal level. It cooperates with a large number of other institutions at Laender or federal level and other bodies involved. The role that the legislator has attributed to industrial property protection in the interest of the national economy requires coordinated efforts of all competent public institutions and circles involved. Furthermore, intensified cooperation is required at the European and international levels in view of the growing importance of the Common Market within the European Union and the increasing trade relations with states outside the EU.

National level

At the national level, close cooperation with patent attorneys, represented by Patentanwaltskammer (Chamber of Patent Attorneys) and Bundespatentgericht (Federal Patent Court) is of fundamental importance for the work of the DPMA. In addition, there are many other fields of cooperation:

Fostering IP protection among small and medium enterprises, scientific and research institutions

The DPMA supports the activities of the regional Patentinformationszentren (patent information centres), the Industrie- und Handelskammern (German Chambers of Industry and Commerce) and professional associations. It is in close contact with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology that supports the SIGNO-Netzwerk (formerly 'INSTI') and the Patentverwertungsagenturen (patent exploitation agencies) at the universities. The Ministry's Patentserver provides information on funding options and questions of patent exploitation. Together with Zentralstelle Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz (central unit of industrial property protection) of the customs services, the DPMA attends important fairs in order to provide information on product piracy and trade mark counterfeiting.

Information on industrial property rights

The central information services of the DPMA on the Internet are supplemented by qualified advice and information services at the regional level. The DPMA specifically supports the regional Patentinformationszentren (patent information centres).

Cooperation with interest groups

The DPMA cooperates with various user panels in order to adapt business processes to user needs. These interest groups include VPP, ARPAD, ARMAD and PDG.

European level

At the European level, the DPMA has close relations with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). Together with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the DPMA represents the interests of the member state Germany in the bodies of the European Patent Organisation and the Administrative Board of the OHIM. In addition, the DPMA cooperates with the EPO and the OHIM at various working levels.

IP Awareness and Enforcement: Modular Based Actions for SMEs project of the EU

The project was set up with the aim to raise awareness for intellectual property among small and medium enterprises within the EU, and to provide information on the enforcement of IP rights. 20 national patent offices of EU member states, including the DPMA, work on this project, with the support of the European Commission. The www.innovaccess.eu information platform, offering information on IP protection within the EU member states, will be further developed within the scope of the project.

International level

At the international level the DPMA is a member of many bodies of the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva, and maintains partnership relations with other IP offices around the world.

© 2016 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 12/02/16