Long tradition and a guarantee for the future

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office celebrates its 145th anniversary with newly designed web pages and a video of its rich and fascinating history – DPMA President: Intellectual property makes the German industry competitive and robust

Press release of June 30, 2022

Munich. The refrigeration technology by Carl von Linde, the electric tram by Werner von Siemens and the first automobile by Carl Benz – these inventions mark the beginning of the German patent system. Among the first trade marks were the crossed swords of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory and the Sphinx representation of Lothar von Faber, a pencil manufacturer. And today? Patent applications now vary from inventions made using artificial intelligence to cutting-edge medical technology, climate-friendly power generation and new vehicle drive technology. Mp3 format, real-time MRT and robots with a sense of touch have been successful inventions in the past decades. Trade mark applications come from industry, small and mid-sized businesses and start-ups.

"The German Patent and Trade Mark Office has a long tradition and it shapes the future," DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer said, adding: "Today’s patents highlight tomorrow’s technology. The protection of intellectual property creates value, makes the German industry competitive and robust, and is thus the basis for growth and wealth."

This year, the DPMA celebrates its 145th anniversary: Our website presents the articles on the office’s history in a new way and provides a video that summarises the rich and fascinating history of the DPMA. Experience 145 years of the DPMA in a nutshell!

In video: 145 years of the German Patent and Trademark Office

On 1 July 1877, the Imperial Patent Office (Kaiserliches Patentamt) was established in Berlin as the new Patent Act entered into force. In addition to Dr Karl Rudolf Jacobi, the Founding President, the first German IP office consisted of 21 legally qualified and technically qualified members and 18 other staff, including three "office clerks". From then on, Germany’s industrial and economic history was closely tied to the IP authorities. From the Imperial Patent Office to the Patent Office of the German Reich (Reichspatentamt) to the German Patent and Trade Mark Office of today: Their history reflects the development of long-established German companies.

Today, the DPMA has almost 2,800 staff. In 2021 alone, it granted 21,113 patents – the highest level in the past 30 years. In addition, there were 68,597 national trade mark registrations, i.e. more than ever before in one year.

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 IP systems further.

Picture: DPMA

Last updated: 30 June 2022