Online file inspection

Yellow document folders with a single blue file

Electronic file inspection

The free, electronic file inspection for patent and utility model procedures is available online free of charge via the DPMAregister information system. Registry data on the IP right concerned is displayed alongside a "file inspection" button at the end of the page, next to the master and procedural data. By clicking the button, you will be directed to a security question, leading to a tabular overview of the released documents in PDF format to view, download or print.

If the case file is not yet available online, you may request its provision by conventional means (post or fax), in most cases.

Which files are available in the online file inspection service?

  • files pertaining to German patents granted since 21 January 2013
  • files pertaining to utility models registered since 21 January 2013
  • files pertaining to German patent applications submitted from 21 January 2013 and already published
  • German patent and utility model files that have been requested for online inspection since 21 January 2013

Which file archives can be viewed online?

Online file inspection is provided by means of a core file. The following file sections, for example, can be viewed via the online file inspection area:

  • application documents including the request form for the grant of a patent/registration of a utility model
  • designation of inventor
  • search and examination request
  • search report
  • bibliography communication (BIB)
  • office actions (official communications on the examination)
  • replies to office actions (official communications on the examination) or follow-up to patent examinations and possible newly submitted documents
  • protocols of hearings in the examination procedure
  • decision to reject application
  • appeals
  • decision to grant
  • opposition or cancellation
  • pleading documents from parties involved in opposition and cancellation proceedings
  • protocols of hearings in opposition and cancellation proceedings
  • decision of the patent and utility model division in opposition and cancellation proceedings

Which documents are excluded from file inspection?

Certain parts of files containing personal data or company-related data worthy of protection are excluded from file inspection (e.g. personal data allowing to draw conclusions about the economic, financial or health situation of a person, such as medical certificates for requests for reinstatement, extension of time limits or legal aid). This is because, in addition to the overriding principles of fundamental rights protection, data protection requirements and other conflicting legal provisions also apply to electronic file inspection.

For copyright reasons, non-patent literature is not made available for electronic file inspection. The citations are displayed, which allow you to obtain the cited documents via libraries, online publishers or other sources. The complete documents of the cited non-patent literature can be viewed as part of the conventional file inspection procedure.


Last updated: 20 October 2020