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Patent Attorney Admission


Patent attorneys may perform the following tasks:

  • 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 (insofar as representation by lawyers is not 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

Patent attorneys may only act if they have been admitted to the patent attorneyship by the competent authority. Authorisation must be applied for.

Process flow

The competent body shall verify that all the conditions for approval are fulfilled.

If the result of the examination is positive, the applicant will receive an invitation to the swearing-in. The swearing-in ceremony takes place at the office of the competent authority in Munich. After the swearing-in, a certificate of admission will be issued. Only from this point in time may the professional title "Patent Attorney" or "Patent Attorney" be used.

Upon admission, the applicant becomes a member of the Chamber of Patent Attorneys and is entered in the electronic register of patent attorneys after being sworn in.

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.

Requirements

Only those who

  • obtains the qualification for the profession of patent attorney or
  • has passed the qualifying examination for admission to the patent attorney profession as a citizen of an EU or EEA member state.

The qualification for the profession of patent attorney is acquired if the following points apply:

  • Acquisition of technical competence, i.e. the applicant has:
    • successfully completed a scientific or technical university degree and
    • has been engaged in a practical technical activity for at least one year or can demonstrate that the required practical technical experience has been acquired by other means.
    • A university degree in natural sciences or technology completed abroad also qualifies for the qualification if it is recognised in Germany or equivalent to studies in Germany.
  • Passing the examination of the required legal knowledge
  • Training with a patent attorney or a patent assessor. If the training was carried out by a patent attorney or a patent assessor in a company, the applicant must have worked for a patent attorney in a law firm for at least half a year.
  • Supplementing the training with a degree in general law at a German university

Admission to the Patent Attorney's Office is refused in the following cases:

  • Forfeiture of a fundamental right following the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court
  • criminal conviction and therefore no possession of the ability to hold public office
  • Exclusion from the patent attorney or from the legal profession by a final judgment not more than eight years ago
  • final decision in proceedings concerning the judge's charge for dismissal or in disciplinary proceedings for removal from the service of justice or from the service as a member of the Patent Office
  • guilty conduct that makes the applicant appear unworthy of the profession of patent attorney
  • Fighting the free democratic basic order in a punishable manner
  • not only temporary health reasons leading to the inability to practise as a patent attorney
  • Carrying out an activity which is incompatible with the profession of patent attorney and which may jeopardise confidence in independence
  • Deterioration of assets. For example, insolvency proceedings must not have been opened against the applicant.
  • the applicant is a judge, civil servant, professional soldier or temporary soldier, unless he or she is a volunteer or the rights and obligations are suspended.

Which documents are required?

  • Copy of the patent assessornurkunde,
  • copies of academic degrees and titles or publicly certified copies if academic degrees and titles are not included in the patent assessor certificate,
  • if applicable, proof of six months of activity with a freelance patent attorney in accordance with § 5 paragraph 2 of the Pantentanwaltsordnung (PAO),
  • if applicable, employment contract and declaration of release by the employer, if there is a permanent employment relationship with a company,
  • Proof of professional liability insurance or a provisional confirmation of cover, in each case in the original (minimum sum insured 250,000.00 euros for each insured event)

What are the fees?

Fees are charged in accordance with the fee statutes 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 duration

Processing Time: 3 Months
Section 30 (2) of the German Patent Attorney Act (PAO)

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)