Patent Attorney Regulations

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Basic data
Title: Patent Attorney Regulations
Previous title: Law concerning patent attorneys;
Patent Attorney Act
Abbreviation: PAO
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Professional law , procedural law
References : 424-5-1
Original version from: May 21, 1900
( RGBl. P. 233)
Entry into force on: October 1, 1900
New announcement from: January 1, 1964
( Federal Law Gazette III p. 39)
Last revision from: September 7, 1966
( BGBl. I p. 557 )
Entry into force of the
new version on:
January 1, 1967
Last change by: Art. 2 G of June 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I pp. 1403, 1404 )
Effective date of the
last change:
July 30, 2020
(Art. 7 G of June 19, 2020)
GESTA : E033
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Patentanwaltsordnung (PAO) is the central legal regulation of the profession of patent attorneys and patent attorneys in Germany and also contains provisions for the procedures in matters of intellectual property .


In addition to regulations on the prerequisites for acquiring the patent attorney's profession (Sections 5–24), its legal status (Sections 1–4, Section 155 f.) And professional obligations (Sections 39–52b), the legal capacity of patent attorney companies (Sections 52c –52m) and the professional organization in the Chamber of Patent Attorneys (Sections 53–82a), the PAO contains extensive formal legal provisions. The latter are particularly specific arrangements for the proceedings of a patent attorney cases before the district courts and the higher regional courts (§§ 85-89), before the Federal Court (§§ 90-94), for the court proceedings in administrative Patent Attorney matters (§§ 94a-94e) and for professional judicial proceedings (§§ 95–144a). Further regulations concern among other things the costs in patent attorney cases (§§ 145–151). In the annex to the PAO there is a specific list of fees for administrative patent attorney matters (§ 146) and the costs in professional court proceedings (§ 148).


The law relating to patent attorneys of May 21, 1900 ( RGBl. P. 233) unified the scattered and particular legal norms that had been in effect until then at the national level . A new version came into force largely on January 1, 1934 with the Patent Attorney Act of September 28, 1933 (RGBl. I p. 669); its revised version was replaced on January 1, 1967 by the Patent Attorney Code of September 7, 1966 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 557).


In the Republic of Austria, the Federal Act of June 7, 1967, which regulates the patent attorney profession (Patent Attorney Act) , Federal Law Gazette No. 214/1967, has a regulatory horizon comparable to that of the Patent Attorney Code .


The current legal basis for the patent attorney profession in the Swiss Confederation is the Federal Law on Patent Attorneys (Patent Attorney Act, PAG) of March 20, 2009 ( BBl. 2009 p. 2013).


  • Elisabeth Reinhard: Professional Law of Patent Attorneys. Patent Attorney Regulations with ancillary provisions (with English translation), law of the representatives authorized before the European Patent Office, law of the representatives authorized before the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market . 5th edition. Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne, Berlin, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-452-26164-9 .

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