Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys - Admission as a patent attorney
Would you like to work as a patent attorney?
Patent attorneys are allowed to carry out the following tasks:
- 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).
You may only work as a patent attorney if you have been admitted to the bar by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys. You have to apply for admission.
the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
You can only be admitted as a patent attorney if you
- have the qualifications for the patent attorney profession or
- if you have passed the qualifying exam for admission to the bar as a patent attorney if you are a citizen of an EU or EEA member state.
You have got the qualifications for the patent attorney profession if the following points apply:
- You have acquired the technical qualifications, i.e. you have
- got a degree in science or science and technology and
- have been working for a year in a practical technical job or can prove that you have acquired the required practical technical experience in another manner.
- A degree in science or technology acquired abroad is also valid for the qualification if it is recognised in Germany or is equivalent to the degree in Germany.
- You have passed the examination of the required legal knowledge.
- You have completed a course of training with a patent solicitor. If you trained with a patent assessor in the patents department of a business, you must have spent at least an additional six months working in a patent solicitor’s office.
- You have supplemented your training by a course of studies in general law at a German university.
Tip: More detailed information on the patent attorney examination (Informationen zur Prüfung zum Patentanwalt) as well as details on the practical technical job to become qualified as a patent attorney (Details zur praktischen technischen Tätigkeit für die Befähigung als Patentanwalt) and what is recognised as such, can be found on the website of the German Patent and Trademark Office.
Admission to the bar as a patent attorney will be refused in the following cases:
- You have forfeited a basic right by virtue of a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht).
- You have been criminally convicted and therefore do not have the right to take public office.
- You have been excluded from the bar as a patent attorney or lawyer by virtue of a final judgement and less than eight years have elapsed since this judgement became final.
- A final judicial decision has been taken against you in impeachment proceedings against a judge for dismissal - or in disciplinary proceedings for removal - from the office in the administration of justice or from the office as a member of the patent office.
- You are guilty of behaviour which makes you appear unworthy to practice as a patent attorney.
- You oppose the free democratic basic order in a way that is punishable by law.
- You are incapable of practising the profession of patent attorney for reasons of health for more than just a temporary period.
- You carry out an occupation which is inconsistent with the profession of a patent attorney and which can undermine confidence in your independence.
- Your finances are in a state of deterioration. For example, insolvency proceedings must not have been instituted against you.
- You are a judge, civil servant, soldier or a soldier in short-term service, unless you are working in an honorary capacity or unless your rights and duties are suspended.
You must apply to the competent authority for admission as a patent solicitor. The competent authority will provide you with an application form.
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys will check whether you meet all requirements for admission. If the result of the check is positive, you will receive an invitation to the swearing-in ceremony.
The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the administrative offices of the Charted Institute of Patent Attorneys. After the swearing-in ceremony, you will receive your admission to the bar. Only then may you use the professional title "Patent Attorney".
Once you have been admitted, you will become a member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and after the swearing-in ceremony will be registered in the electronic directory of patent attorneys.
Tip: The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys also offers you information on the admission of patent attorneys to the bar (Informationen zur Zulassung zum Patentanwalt).
- completed application form
- completed questionnaire regarding the admission application
- copy of the patent agent certificate
- proof of professional indemnity insurance (minimum insurance sum: 250,000 Euro for each insured event) or an original provisional cover note
- proof that the licence fee has been paid
- if you are in permanent employment in a company:
- employment contract
- deed of release from the employer
- if appl. proof that you have acquired the academic degree (e.g. publicly certified copy of the PhD degree certificate)
- if you have not done your training with a freelance patent attorney: proof that you have worked for six months at a freelance patent attorney
- § 3 bis 4 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Recht zur Beratung und Vertretung)
- § 5 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Zugang zum Beruf des Patentanwalts)
- § 6 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Technische Befähigung)
- § 7 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Ausbildung auf dem Gebiet des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes)
- § 13 bis 19 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Zulassung zur Patentanwaltschaft)
- § 29 Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) (Patentanwaltsverzeichnis)
- § 1 ff. Gesetz über die Eignungsprüfung für die Zulassung zur Patentanwaltschaft (PAZEignPrG)
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.