New service: online search support

Computer screen with input mask, Picture: DPMA

„A search for IP rights requires some basic knowledge. We will provide you with this knowledge in an individual online meeting. This service is available anywhere in the world, all you need is a web-enabled computer.“

Three questions for Karsten Kauffmann at the search room in Berlin

The new online search support is an interactive service offered by us. It helps you to search for patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. Online search support means you virtually meet search experts of the DPMA who give you individual search support and explain to you how to best use our tools and services. Karsten Kauffmann, search expert at the DPMA Information and Service Centre Berlin, explains how this works and why you should conduct searches at all.

Question:Why is a search for IP rights useful for me at all?

Karsten Kauffmann:Whether you are in the process of developing a technical product, creating a logo for your corporate design or printing business cards with your new company name: All this takes time and money. Image just how annoying it will be for you if you receive a cease-and-desist letter shortly after your market launch because you are infringing someone else’s IP rights? You can minimise this risk by carrying out a freedom-to-operate (FTO) search in advance. The FTO search will help you to identify valid IP rights in the markets that are of interest to you before you make an investment decision. This way, you will avoid the risk of infringing other patents, trade marks or designs.

Other possible reasons for a search:

  • You want to watch your competitors
  • You would like to search for property rights of your competitors
  • You are looking for solutions to technical problems

Question:Online search support – what can I expect?

Karsten Kauffmann:Our service is aimed at interested persons who have little or no experience in using the DPMA online services. However, a search for IP rights requires some basic knowledge, which we will provide to you in an individual online meeting. This service is available wherever you are in the world; all you need is a web-enabled computer. You and our search experts can share screens and talk to each other at the same time via the Webex conferencing software. Thus, the quality of this advisory service is similar to that of a face-to-face meeting at our office, but there is no need for you to come to us. By the way, this is a free service provided by the DPMA.

Question:How is online search support provided? Do I need an appointment and how much time should I allow?

Karsten Kauffmann:First contact the Customer Care and Service of the DPMA (phone: +49 89 2195-1000) to make an online appointment for your search. You should allow at least half an hour for a session, or better still a whole hour. You will then be sent an e-mail containing your access data and a brief instruction manual. Apart from a browser, you do not need any other software on your computer. If a “Webex” app is already installed on your computer, you can use this app too. The audio connection is either established via the computer (you can use a headset) or you can dial in using a telephone. There is no video transmission showing you or us. Only the screen views are exchanged. For more information on the online search support, please see our Notice of 7 June 2021.

Last updated: 10 January 2024