The "new" DPMA website - some helpful links

Like so many "expats", this Kat sometimes has a feeling of homesickness and homesickness can make you do funny things, such as looking at your hometown's web cam so you know what kind of weather you are missing out on, reading tabloids in your native tongue (not always a good idea) or surfing on the website of your national Intellectual Property Office, in my case the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA).

Given the amount of questions this Kat has received about how to use of the recently updated DPMA website, in particular its search functions, this Kat has now decided to share her observations with our readers. The "new DPMA website is very sleek and modern but it sometimes a trifle difficult to navigate, a bit like searching Easter eggs (see below, right).
The goods news is that the DPMA has not only completely revamped its search functions but it has also created a proper (and may I add, rather appealing) English language version of its website including helpful Q&A sections about German trade marks (here), German patents (here) and German utility models (here). Very useful are also the concise booklets 'Information for Trade Mark Applicants'; 'Information for Patent Applicants' and the DPMA's explanation of Utility Models (here).

Since 22 February 2010 the DPMA website also allows you to perform searches on designs in DPMAregister, in addition to searching trade marks and indications of geographical origin. As some of the IPKat's readers may have noticed, the very modern search search platform on the DPMA's website is not always intuitive but gives you many options (Quick Search, Beginners' Search, truncations, you name it, the DPMA seems to offer it). Thankfully, the DPMA has also published useful guides on how to perform searches for trade marks and designs. These guides can be retrieved by clicking on the following links: trade mark search and design search. Please note that the new DPMAregister search is being implemented in stages and patents, utility models, topographies will follow in the second half of this year.

As our readers may know, German law allows you to apply for protection of three-dimensional structures of microelectronic semiconductors at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. This type of IP right is referred to as "topography." Topography applications are processed by the utility model unit of the DPMA and the DPMA very helpfully provides more information on topographies.

For ease of reference:

  • Trade Mark searches can be conducted via the new system (see to the right) and this screen.
  • Designs can be found via the new system and this screen.
  • Patents and Utility Models can still be found via the old system here (see screenshot in the top left corner of this post).

And, should you still be stuck, then the DPMA offers an "Assisted search" service "in strictest confidence" via this link. Please note that while assisted search is initially free ("If a request cannot be processed within the scope of initial support, billable services are available.") and "Info-Lotse" charges a fee:
"If you are unsure how to formulate your search request in the Beginner's or Expert mode or how to design your search strategy, you can use two different support options, provided by the DPMA in cooperation with the patent information centres (PIZ): the assisted search and the interactive remote support service "Info-Lotse"."
Enjoy, says this Kat!
The "new" DPMA website - some helpful links The "new" DPMA website - some helpful links Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. I have used the DPMA's DPINFO web site for some years [it has long had an English users' interface] for searching and downloading patent documents. It sometimes retrieves documents that espace doesn't [and vice versa]. The syntax of the "expert" search engine will be familiar to established users of Derwent's WPI system, and it has a very flexible user-definable presentation of search results. I started using it some years ago when access to espace was slow, and still generally use it in preference to espace.

  2. Finally it seems the new search engine is very similar to the already existing "depatis"... (


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