Anyone wishing to establish a patent attorney firm in the legal form of a GmbH must apply for admission as a patent attorney firm.
The shareholders of a patent attorney firm may – like patent attorneys – offer the following activities:
- Advice on inventions, trademarks, design, know-how, plant variety protection and the like
- Registration of all industrial property rights
- Prosecution of infringements of property rights (unless representation by lawyers is required)
- Representation before the German Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Patent Court, the Federal Plant Variety Office and other international industrial property authorities
- Representation before the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) in nullity proceedings
The competent body shall verify that all the conditions for approval are met. If the examination result is positive, the applicant receives a certificate of admission from the patent attorney firm. Upon delivery of the certificate, admission as a patent attorney firm becomes effective.
Who should I contact?
The competent authority lies with the Chamber of Patent Attorneys.
This procedure can also be carried out through a "Point of Single Contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by municipalities and the state for service providers.
- Limited liability company whose business object is to advise and represent patent attorneys
- The company may not be involved in associations for the joint exercise of the profession.
- The company must be managed responsibly by patent attorneys.
- The managing director and shareholders must only be members of the competent authority, lawyers, tax consultants, tax representatives, auditors and sworn accountants.
- In addition, members of patent attorney professions from certain member states of the European Union or other countries may be partners. They must work for the patent attorney firm.
- The managing directors, if applicable authorized signatories and authorized representatives for the entire business operations, must each be the majority of patent attorneys.
- The majority of the shares and voting rights must be held by the patent attorneys.
- The independence of patent attorneys who act as managing directors, authorised signatories or authorised representatives must be guaranteed.
- Professional liability insurance with a minimum sum insured of 2.5 million euros per insured event must have been taken out or there must be a provisional confirmation of cover. The maximum annual benefit for all losses caused in an insurance year must be at least four times the minimum sum insured.
- The name of the company must contain the designation "Patentanwaltsgesellschaft"
Which documents are required?
- Proof of conclusion of professional liability insurance or provisional confirmation of cover
- Admission certificates of shareholders, managing directors, authorised signatories and authorised representatives in certified copy
- Copy or publicly certified copy of the articles of association
What are the fees?
Fees are payable in accordance with the fee regulations of the competent authority.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
The admission procedure is usually completed within two months of application.
Processing Time: 3 MonthsSection 30 (2) of the German Patent Attorney Act (PAO)
§§ 3 - 4 Patent Attorney Code (PAO)
§ 52 a Patent Attorney Code (PAO)
What else should I know?
In addition to the GmbH, partner companies or partnerships under civil law can also be founded. Although these must also be based on the professional requirements (in particular § 52a Patent Attorney Code), they do not require approval by the competent authority.
Technically approved by
Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice
List ID 456 (whitelist; Status: 13.09.2018)
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.