Economically successful ideas will often be copied. Industrial property (IP) rights provide an effective way to fight plagiarism and counterfeiting. Patents and utility models protect technical elements, trade marks protect the "good name" and registered designs protect the shapes and colours of products. They give the owner the right to seek injunctive relief and claim damages, where appropriate.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) grants patents, registers trade marks, utility models and designs, and manages these IP rights. In addition, the DPMA provides information to the public on IP rights.
Together with its predecessors - Kaiserliches Patentamt and Reichspatentamt - the DPMA looks back on more than 130 years of history. At present, the office has about 2,550 staff at its locations in Munich, Jena and Berlin.