Patent attorney; Approval

You may only act as a patent attorney if you have been admitted to the Patent Attorney's Office by the Patent Attorneys' Association. You must apply for approval.

Patent attorneys may perform the following tasks:

  • Advice on inventions, brands, design, know-how, plant variety protection and the like
  • Registration of all industrial property rights
  • Prosecution of infringements of intellectual property rights (unless representation by lawyers is required)
  • Representation before the German Patent and Trademark Office, federal patent court, Federal Variety Office and other international authorities of industrial property rights
  • Representation before the Federal Court of Justice in annulment case n

Related Links

  • Auflistung der Tätigkeiten von Patentanwälten
  • Prüfung zum Patentanwalt
  • Details zur praktischen technischen Tätigkeit für die Befähigung als Patentanwalt
  • Completed application form
  • completed questionnaire on the application for authorisation
  • Copy of the patent assessor certificate
  • Proof of professional insinuation insurance (minimum insurance sum: EUR 250,000.00 for each insured event) or a provisional cover commitment in the original
  • Proof of payment of the admission fee
  • if you are in a permanent employment relationship with a company:
    • Employment contract
    • Employer's exemption
  • where applicable, evidence of the acquisition of academic degrees (e.g. publicly certified copy of the doctoral certificate)
  • if you have not completed your training with a freelance patent attorney: proof of half-year's work with a freelance patent attorney


As a patent attorney, you can only be admitted if you

  • acquires the competence for the profession of patent attorney, or
  • have passed the aptitude test for admission to the Patent Attorney's Office as a national of an EU or EEA Member State.
  • You have obtained the competence for the profession of patent attorney if the following points apply:
  • You have acquired the technical qualification, i.e. you have
    • successfully completed a degree in science or technology at university, and
    • you have carried out a practical technical activity for at least one year or you can prove that you have acquired the necessary practical technical experience in other ways.
    • A degree in natural sciences or technical studies completed abroad also applies to the qualification if it is recognised in Germany or is equivalent to studying in Germany.
  • You have passed the examination for the necessary legal knowledge.
  • They were trained by a patent attorney or a patent assessor. If you have been trained in a firm with a patent attorney or patent assessor, you must have worked for at least half a year with a patent attorney in a law firm.
  • You have supplemented your education with a degree in general law at a German university.

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

  • They have forfeited a fundamental right following the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court.
  • They have been convicted of criminal offences and therefore do not have the capacity to hold public office.
  • They were expelled from the patent attorney's office or from the bar by a final judgment no more than 8 years ago.
  • In a case concerning the indictment of judges for dismissal or in disciplinary proceedings, a final decision was taken against you for removal from the service of the administration of justice or from the service as a member of the Patent Office.
  • You are guilty of conduct which rendes you unworthy of the profession of patent attorney.
  • They are fighting the liberal democratic basic order in a criminal manner.
  • For health reasons, they are not only temporarily incapable of practising the profession of patent attorney.
  • You carry out an activity which is incompatible with the profession of patent attorney and which may jeopardise confidence in your independence.
  • They are in decline. For example, no insolvency proceedings may have been opened against you.
  • You are a judge, civil servant, professional soldier or temporary soldier, unless you are a volunteer or your rights and duties rest.


For more information

On the pages of the Patent Attorneys' Association you will find a detailed list of the activities of patent attorneys.

Further information on the examination of the patent attorney as well as details of the practical technical activity for the competence as a patent attorney and what is recognized as such can be found on the website of the German Patent and Trademark Office.

List of the activities of patent attorneys (PDF; 0.1 MB; 1 page; non-accessible)

Information from the Patent Attorneys' Association for admission to the Patent Attorney (PDF; 0.4 MB; 2 pages; non-accessible)

Information on the examination of the patent attorney

Details of practical technical work for the ability to become a patent attorney

  • Zulassung zum Patentanwalt
  • Sections 3 to 4 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (Right to advise and represent)
  • Section 5 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (access to the profession of patent attorney)
  • Section 6 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (Technical Competence)
  • Section 7 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (training in the field of industrial property rights)
  • Sections 13 to 19 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (Admission to the Patent Attorney's Office)
  • Section 29 Patent Attorneys' Regulations (PAO) (Patent Attorneys' Register)

You must submit the application for admission as a patent attorney to the competent authority.

You will receive the necessary application form from the relevant authority.

The Patent Attorneys' Association checks whether you meet all the requirements for admission. If the exam result is positive, you will receive an invitation to the swearing-in.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the office of the Patent Attorneys' Association in Munich. After the swearing-in, you will receive a certificate of admission. Only from this date you may hold the professional title "Patentanwalt" or "Patentanwalt".

With admission, you become a member of the Patent Attorneys' Association and are entered in the electronic register of patent attorneys after the swearing-in.

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Chamber of Patent Attorneys

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