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German Patent Office Transforms Its IT Landscape in 4-Year Contract With IBM


IBM Implements Electronic Property Rights System for German Patent and Trade Mark Office

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY - 11 Sep 2006: The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has engaged IBM (NYSE: IBM) business consultants in a 4-year agreement to implement an electronic file system to improve efficiency and expand customer service. This IT solution will enable the DPMA to complete the entire registration process of property rights, including patents and utility models, electronically. The new system, complemented by document and workflow management, is based on a flexible service-oriented IT architecture.

“Launching an end-to-end electronic file system is most important for us because the new system will enable us to provide our services more efficiently and in a more customer-friendly manner,” said Dr Jürgen Schade, President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. “It will simplify and speed up significantly the processing of industrial property rights. In the final analysis we will be helping companies to better protect their innovations and trade marks in the German market.”

The DPMA’s main task is to grant industrial property rights (patents, utility models, trade marks and design patents) for technical and commercial innovations and to register, administer and publish these. In 2005 alone, DPMA staff processed more than 60,000 patents, nearly 71,000 trade marks and more than 48,000 design patent applications. In future, the entire process will be completed electronically, from application to publication.

“A project like this is a pace setter for the transformation of public administration,” said Eberhard Armbruster, Head of Consulting Public Sector IBM Global Business Services. “The fundamental reorganization of administrative workflow leads not only to greater efficiency but also to improved cooperation between administration, business and the general public.”

IBM Global Business Services designed the DPMA’s electronic file system and will be implementing the solution with uniform document and workflow management systems. As a first step, the central computer will be replaced by a flexible service-oriented architecture (SOA) with open standards. This will enable future legislative changes or new business processes to be easily integrated. In addition, IBM is implementing a central address and user management and a link to a central payments system.

Final phase out of the existing IT system and launch of the new Electronic Property Rights System at the DPMA is scheduled for 2010.

About IBM Global Business Services
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About the German Patent and Trade Mark Office
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), a federal government agency that is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Justice, is the central government agency in charge of industrial property rights in Germany. Along with its predecessors the Imperial Patent Office and the Reich Patent Office, the DPMA can look back on more than 120 years of public service. Its statutory role is to grant industrial property rights and to inform the public about existing industrial property rights that are in force in Germany. Commercially successful inventions and other innovations that catch on in the market will frequently find imitators. Industrial property rights are the most effective way to deal with copycats and product piracy. Patents and utility models to protect the technical components, trade mark registration to protect the “good name,” and design patents to protect the design entitle the holder to file for injunctive relief and, if necessary, for damages. The DPMA, at the intersection of the idea and the realization of innovations, thereby makes a fundamental contribution toward Germany’s competitiveness as a business location. The DPMA has offices in Munich, Jena and Berlin and a payroll of around 2,600 employees.


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