“The quality of patent examination is top priority”

At the autumn meeting of the User Advisory Council of the DPMA, the DPMA President emphasised the outstanding importance of patent quality – Meaningful exchange with all user groups – DPMA presented measures for increasing the quality of procedures

Press release of 28 November 2023

Munich. On the occasion of the autumn meeting of the User Advisory Council of the DPMA (DPMAnutzerbeirat), Eva Schewior, President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), emphasised the outstanding importance of patent quality for the DPMA. “Our applicants can be sure that the quality of patent examination is top priority for the DPMA,” the DPMA President said and added: “Our procedures focus on the intensive technical and substantive examination without too many formalities. If an invention is patentable, the patent should be granted as quickly as possible; formal criteria should not prevent the grant of the patent. For this purpose, we are extending our quality assurance measures in close consultation with our customers.”

Consequently, patent quality was the main topic at today’s autumn meeting of the User Advisory Council. As early as a year ago, the DPMA had conducted a survey of its advisory body (which consists of representatives of all user groups) on its understanding of patent quality and the importance of patent quality, additionally asking it for suggestions. The discussion was continued at the spring meeting of the User Advisory Council in April 2023; at that meeting, the DPMA announced that initial measures would be presented by the 2023 autumn meeting.

In today’s meeting, the DPMA presented first steps towards increasing the quality of its procedures, focusing especially on ways to improve the search options for examiners. For example, the DPMA has incorporated a newly developed IT course on search strategies into the IT training programme. The course covers, among other topics, the most efficient possible use of different search tools, some of which are based on artificial intelligence. In addition, the DPMA has integrated new features to document searches into its central IT processing system for patent procedures. This will facilitate the work of examiners in future procedures. Other measures were aimed at the quality and consistency of first office actions. To this end, a template and the plans for regular reviews of first office actions were presented.

“Ensuring high patent quality is a challenge to be addressed jointly by applicants and the DPMA as the processing office. As we can mainly influence the elements in the procedure, they are what we focus on,” DPMA President Eva Schewior said and added: “We will continue our intensive work on successively improving our procedures, thus contributing to high patent quality.”

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of just under 2,800 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services to inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international protection systems.

Last updated: 8 February 2024