Procedure descriptions

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Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys - Admission as a patent law company

If you would like to set up a business as a patent law company (Patentanwaltsgesellschaft) with the legal form GmbH, you have to apply for admission as a patent law company.

Note: In addition to the GmbH, you can also set up partnership companies, companies constituted under civil law (GbR) etc. They also have to comply with the professional requirements (in particular § 52a of the German patent attorney code (Patentanwaltsordnung)), however they do not require a licence to practice from the responsible authority.

The partners of a patent attorney firm - like patent attorneys - may provide the following activities:

  • advice on inventions, trademarks, design, know-how, plant variety rights and the like
  • registration of all industrial property rights
  • prosecution of infringements of industrial property rights (unless representation is offered by lawyers)
  • representation before the German Patent and Trademark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt), Federal Patents Court (Bundespatentgericht), Federal Office for Plant Varieties (Bundessortenamt) and other international authorities for industrial property rights.
  • representation before the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) for revocation proceedings

Tip: On the website of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (Patentanwaltskammer) you will find a detailed list of the activities of patent attorneys (Auflistung der Tätigkeiten von Patentanwälten).

Responsible authority

the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys

Prerequisite

  • It has to be a limited liability company, whose business purpose is to advise and represent its clients in the above-mentioned matters.
  • The company may not be involved in any associations which carry out their profession collectively.
  • The company has to be managed responsibly by patent attorneys.
  • The managing directors and partners have to be exclusively members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, lawyers, tax consultants, tax agents, auditors and certified accountants. In addition, members of the patent attorney professions from specific member states of the European Union or other states can be partners, they have to work in the patent attorney firm.
  • The majority of the managing directors, if appl. authorised signatories and authorised representatives for the entire business, have to be patent attorneys.
  • The patent attorneys have to have the majority of the business shares and the voting rights.
  • The independence of the patent attorneys, who work as managing directors, authorised signatories or authorised representatives, has to be guaranteed.
  • Professional indemnity insurance with a minimum insurance sum of 2.5 million euros for each insured event has to have been concluded or there has to be a provisional cover note. The maximum annual total for all damages caused during the annual period has to add up to at least four times the amount of the minimum insurance sum.
  • The name of the company has to include the description "Patent Attorney Firm".

Procedure

The application to admit the patent attorney firm has to be submitted to the responsible authority. You will get the required application form from the responsible authority.

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys will check whether all requirements for admission are met. If the result of the check is positive, you will receive a certificate with the admission of the patent attorney firm. The admission as a patent attorney firm will be effective once the certificate has been handed over.

Required documents

  • completed application form, if appl. with attachments
  • copy of the company agreement or certified copy
  • certified copy of the admission to the bar of the partners, managing directors, authorised signatories and authorised representatives
  • proof of professional indemnity insurance (minimum insurance sum: 2.5 million euros for each insured event) or an original provisional cover note

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Patentanwaltskammer released it on 07.05.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

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