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Electronic file inspection launched: German Patent and Trade Mark Office allows online inspection of patent and utility model files

Press release of 7 January 2014

Munich. As from today, electronic file inspection of patent and utility model files is possible at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA). From now on, parts of files can also be inspected online.

The documents available for electronic inspection include office actions, decisions, search reports as well as communications relevant to the procedure and other parts of files in PDF format. Entering the file number and clicking on the button "File inspection" in the free-of-charge information service DPMAregister will lead you to the requested information. All granted patents, registered utility models as well as all applications filed that have already been published on or after 21 January 2013 will be available.

"With electronic file inspection, we are offering our customers an innovative service that will greatly facilitate their work," says Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, President of the DPMA. "We are thereby directly passing on the advantages of the electronic keeping of files for patent and utility model applications introduced in 2011 and significantly reducing the administrative effort."

It is no longer required to file a written request for file inspection asking for extracts from files, even though this will continue to be an option. In addition, it will still be possible for you to inspect files in the DPMA search rooms in Munich, Jena and Berlin. Information protected by copyright or data protection law will remain excluded from file inspection.

File inspection of utility model and patent files is governed by law (Section 31 of the Patent Act - Patentgesetz, Section 8 of the Utility Model Act - Gebrauchsmustergesetz). With the patent law revision of 24 October 2013 (DPMA press release - in German), certain legal provisions have been revised to allow for electronic file inspection.

Electronic file inspection is a free-of-charge service offered by the DPMA. Detailed information is available here.

German Patent and Trade Mark Office

The DPMA is the national centre of expertise in the field of IP protection in Germany. With a staff of over 2,500, it is the largest national IP office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world. The staff based at locations in Munich, Jena and Berlin grant patents, register trade marks, utility models and designs, and manage these IP rights. In addition, they provide information on IP rights to the public. For more information on the DPMA, please go to

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