What does the date of the patent mean

Examination and issuance


Examination procedure

During the examination process, the DPMA's patent examiners ensure that your invention meets the following criteria:

  • novelty
  • inventive step
  • industrial applicability

In addition, it must be a technical invention that is disclosed in an executable manner.

Preliminary check of the registration

By submitting your patent documents and transferring the application fees, you have secured the priority of your application.

Your registration will now be checked in advance. This means that the documents are analyzed for compliance with the formal requirements and to determine whether there are any obvious obstacles to patentability. In addition, the invention is classified according to its content in an internationally applicable, finely subdivided classification scheme (International Patent Classification IPC).

Submit a request for examination

The most important links for patent registration

In order to actually receive a patent, you have to submit a request for examination and pay the examination fee of 350 euros. Only then can the DPMA examine the application and, if necessary, grant a patent.

You have from filing date seven years timeto submit the request for examination. However, in order to maintain your application you have to pay annual fees from the 3rd year of the patent.

If you wish, you can also submit a fee-based application for an examination Research request to your registration according to §43 PatG. In this case, the protectability of your invention will be assessed and justified in a detailed search report, which also contains the documents that may be relevant for examining the patentability of your invention.


Your patent application remains Secret for 18 months, then it is disclosed, that is released. A reference to the publication of the so-called Offenlegungsschrift appears in the DPMAregister database. You can see them there from the first day of publication.

In this way, the public can find out about the state of the art. The 1.5-year period of secrecy is intended to give inventors the opportunity to pursue the application or, if necessary, to withdraw it before the publication of the disclosure. The disclosure document appears regardless of whether you have submitted a request for examination or not.

Examination notices

If you have submitted a request for examination for your application, a patent examiner will determine the state of the art relevant to your invention and check whether a patent can be granted against this background.

If the patent examiner determines that your invention is new, involves an inventive step, is disclosed in an executable manner and is commercially applicable and your application also meets all other formal requirements, he will grant a patent.

If your invention does not meet the requirements or your registration shows other deficiencies, you will be informed of this in an examination notification.

You then have the opportunity to express your opinion within a period set in the examination report and to correct the deficiencies. Please note, however, that all changes must be within the scope of the original disclosure, i.e. the description of your invention submitted on the filing date.


After the successful examination of the patent application, a patent can be granted. Similar to the disclosure, the announcement of the grant is made in the corresponding part of the patent gazette. It can now also be researched in the DEPATISnet and DPMAregister databases. With the publication of the grant of a patent in the patent gazette, the patent owner's right of protection and prohibition arises. A granted patent is valid for a maximum of 20 years, starting on the day after filing.

In order to maintain patent protection, you have to pay annual fees for each patent (or each application). These are due and must from the beginning of the third year and each subsequent year unsolicited get paid.

However, it is possible for your patent to be granted by a third party challenged - either by objection or by an action for annulment. You can find out more about this under Opposition and nullity.


If the protection requirements are not met, i.e. if the test shows that

  • the subject of the application does not show novelty, inventive step or commercial applicability (§§ 3 to 5 PatG) or
  • the subject of the application is essentially not an invention or is excluded from patentability (Sections 1 to 2a PatG) or
  • the defects complained of, which result from the fact that the application does not meet the requirements of Sections 34, 37 or 38 of the Patent Act or the requirements of Section 36 of the Patent Act are obviously not met (this concerns, for example, formal and content-related requirements such as feasibility), are not remedied the invention, uniformity and disclosure of any changes made),

the registration is to be rejected.

Before a rejection, the examination office will inform you of the existence of reasons for rejection in an examination notification. Within a set period you have the opportunity to comment on the deficiencies mentioned in the examination report and to remedy them. This period can be extended upon request. If the deficiencies are not eliminated, the application must be rejected in accordance with Section 48 of the Patent Act.

By the way - in the case of obvious defects you will be informed in the preliminary examination (examination of the obviousness, § 42 PatG); This too can lead to rejection if you do not eliminate the deficiencies.

Leaflet for patent applicants

You can find more information on the examination and granting of patents in the leaflet for patent applicants (P 2791).

Supplementary protection certificates

In the case of patents on active ingredients or active ingredient compositions, one Medicinal product or plant protection product There is, under certain conditions, the possibility of having the term of protection extended by up to five years by means of a supplementary protection certificate and again by a maximum of six months in the case of recognized studies on medicinal products for children ("pediatric extensions").
The certificate registration must be made within six months of the approval of the corresponding medicinal product or plant protection product in the Federal Republic of Germany. If a basic patent had not yet been granted at the time of admission, the application must be received by the DPMA no later than six months after the basic patent was granted. If a supplementary protection certificate is issued, the term of the certificate immediately follows the maximum term of the basic patent (20 years).

Application for a supplementary protection certificate

Image 1: iStock.com/DeanDrobot, Image 2: iStock.com/NicoElNino

Status: 08/31/2020