Frequently asked questions on DPMAdirektPro
Here you will find a selection of answers to frequently asked questions on technical, legal and organisational topics relating to DPMAdirektPro.
If you have a question to which no answer is provided here, please send an e-mail to DPMAdirekt@dpma.de.
How is the amount of the filing fee for the entry into the national phase calculated?
The amount of the national filing fee of an international application (Art. III para. 4(2), first sentence, Act on International Patent Conventions) – also for electronic filing via DPMAdirekt - is determined by the schedule of fees referred to by Section 2(1) of the Patent Costs Act (Patentkostengesetz). Fee numbers 311 150 (60 euros) and 311 160 (30 euros for the eleventh and each additional claim) apply to the entry into the national phase of a patent application.
How to create a text-based PDF file for DPMAdirektPro?
In order to create text-based PDF files when filing online via DPMAdirekt, you can basically use any program that creates PDF files compatible with the Adobe Portable Document Format, version 1.4 (Acrobat version 5 or higher).
Besides Adobe® Acrobat, there are many other software products that can create PDF files.
Your program may need to be specifically adjusted to the required format in order to embed all fonts.
We have compiled instructions (in German) on how to edit these preferences in Adobe® Acrobat here.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office can only accept such documents that are compatible with Annex F of the Administrative Instructions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. You can find the full text of Annex F on the WIPO website.
Rules for PDF files pursuant to Annex F
- The PDF file must be compatible with Adobe PDF version 1.4.
- The text in the PDF file must be unencrypted.
- The PDF file must not contain any embedded OLE objects.
- The fonts used in the PDF file must be embedded.
- The paper format must not exceed A4 size.
In addition to the rules for PDF files pursuant to Annex F, the following aspects need to be taken into consideration:
- The PDF file must not be copy-protected.
- The PDF file must not contain any hidden content.
- PDF files created with a scanner generally do not meet the rules for text-based PDF files.
An example of a text-based PDF file is available here.
Where can I get a qualified signature card and the corresponding card reader?
You will find a selection of about 15 issuers of signatures (certification service providers) on the websites of Governikus and Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway). Depending on the provider, ordering a signature card with the corresponding card reader depends on other procedures. Therefore, you should allow at least two weeks.
Who may apply the signature to an electronic application by using a signature card?
In this context, a distinction must be made as to whether the application is filed on one' s own behalf or on behalf of another party.
On one' s own behalf: The signature may be applied by the applicant himself/herself or by authorised staff. The provisions on representation in accordance with the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) and the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) must be observed.
On behalf of a another party (in particular by a law firm or patent law firm on behalf of a third party): The signature may only be applied by a lawyer or patent attorney but not by other members of staff of the law firm pursuant to the Act on Legal Counselling (Rechtsdienstleistungsgesetz) applicable in Germany. Otherwise, the DPMA requires that a handwritten signature of the lawyer/patent attorney authorised to represent be furnished subsequently.
However, if the application form has already been signed with the signature card (smart card) of the lawyer/patent attorney authorised to represent using the epoline software, it may be sent off subsequently by other members of staff of the law firm.
Can card readers with integrated keyboard also be used?
DPMAdirektPro version 1.3 and higher supports the integrated numeric keypad. After selecting the signature card, the entry must be confirmed with "OK". Then, the signature PIN can be entered via the card reader’s keyboard. Entry of the PIN must be confirmed on the card reader (green OK key).
The PIN prompt will no longer be shown on the screen; PIN entry using the PC keyboard will no longer be possible in such a case.
After updating the anti-virus software, the sending and receiving process of DPMAdirektPro may possibly be blocked. Sometimes, DPMAdirektPro will even be terminated without a notice. Then you may not be able to restart the service. Due to the increasing spread of ransomware (extortion Trojans, crypto Trojans or crypto viruses), anti-virus programs respond with ever higher sensitivity to encrypted data and block them. However, encryption of data is a must for DPMAdirekt and therefore an integral part of the software.
In such a case, please configure your anti-virus software in a way that the program files "DPMADirektPro.exe” and "javaw.exe" will not be blocked.
Last updated: 8 May 2020