Proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office

Examination proceedings


The number of patent applications at the German Patent and Trademark Office has slightly decreased to 67 437 in 2019 (-0.7% compared to 2018) including the entry of PCT national phases. 40 124 examinations have been terminated (which is a raise of 5.3% compared to 2018), of which 18 255 patents have been granted (a raise of 11.5% compared to 2018).


The top five fields of technology are Transport, Electrical machinery and apparatus, energy, mechanical elements, measurements, engines, pumps and turbines.


Further, 11 668 utility models applications have been filed, which is a decrease of 5.2% compared to 2018.


Opposition proceedings


In 2019, 294 oppositions have been filed compared to 338 in 2018. From 410 finalized cases, 141 (34%) patents have been revoked, and in 212 (52%) cases, the opposition has been rejected or the patent has been maintained in an amended form. The remaining patents have been abandoned or deemed to be abandoned due to non-payment of the annual fee.


Radiations proceedings (utility model)


The radiation proceedings are proceedings to declare the utility model void. In 2019, 98 requests for radiation of a utility model have been filed. 45 utility models have been radiated or partly radiated in 2019 (including following appeal procedure before the Federal Patent Court).




The number of design applications has also slightly decreased to 42 603 (-3.3% compared to 2018).




The number of trademark applications national and international has increased to 78 829 (+4.6 % compared to 2018), 5 196 of them being international trademarks. 2978 trademarks have been attacked in opposition procedures.


Proceedings before the Federal Patent Court

Appeals in patent and utility model proceedings


In 2019, 371 new appeals against decisions of the DPMA in examining and opposition proceedings have been filed. In 157 out of 301 decisions, the appeal has been accepted or partly accepted. In 141 cases, the appeal has been dismissed and in three cases the appeal was not admissible. In the remaining cases the patent was abandoned, withdrawn or the appeal was withdrawn. Further cases refer to other types of proceedings.


33 new appeals against the decision of the German Patent and Trademark Office have been filed in the field of utility models, compared to only 56 in 2018.


Proceedings before the nullity senates


In 2019, 205 proceedings have been started before the nullity boards compared to 219 in 2018. 191 of them are nullity actions. From the 98 decisions taken in nullity proceedings, 21 nullity actions have been rejected, in 34 cases, the patent has been totally nullified and in 43 cases the patents have been partly nullified. In 110 cases, the nullity action has been withdrawn in 2019.


Trademark and Design cases


With respect to the trademarks, 662 new cases have been brought before the trademark and design boards of the Federal Patent Court.

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