Kaiserlichen Patentamt

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The German Empire's Kaiserlichen Patentamt, orImperial Patent Office, was the authority granting German patents in the early aero period.

It had publication series. These are example pages from which to draw out general info:

  • Patentblatt: herausgegeben von dem Kaiserl. Patentamt, Volume 15, page 48 (on google books)
  • Verzeichnis der von dem Kaiserlichen Patentamt in der Zeit vom ... ertheilten Patente. Annual volumes. Example page from 1892 volume: page 98 (on google books) (republished, available from Abe Books)


  • On Sunday July 1, 1877 the Imperial Patent Office was founded. Before this patents were granted in 25 smaller states of the German Empire. These included Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Principality of Reuss, and more. For more on patents of that period see [1] and [2] and other works by those authors.) Patent Specification No. 1 was immediately issued on July 2, 1877.[1]
  • A patent approved by the new unified German office would offer protection with uniform rules across all the German Empire. It would be also be published, which was different from the practice of most of the earlier offices.[1]
  • Its first president, from 1877 to 1881, Karl Rudolf Jacobi, later named "von Jacobi" after he had been raised to the peerage. Jacobi was a lawyer and ministerial official with over twenty years of professional experience in the Prussian administration. The Imperial Patent Office also included 21 legal and technical members and 18 other employees including three clerks. Most worked part time at the patent office, and remained employed in some relevant outside field. Some were volunteers, appointed to some role at the patent office, perhaps as specialists, and/or to give them different mental stimulation.[1]
  • A substantial change in the patent law went into effect on 7 April 1891. (details?)
  • There was a Supervisory Board made up of senior civil servants from other government departments, technical experts, and industry representatives. The industrialist, inventor, and politician Werner von Siemens was an important supervisor or employee, and chairman of the "Patent Protection Association" which had advocated the uniform patent law.[1]
  • As in other patent offices, lawyers and technical experts had to work together and learn from one another.[1]
  • Patent applications grew quickly and the staff of 40 was not enough. The staff grew quickly.
  • The first office was at Wilhelmstrasse 75, Berlin, next to the Foreign Office. Two years later, in 1879, the patent office moved to Königgrätzer Straße 10. Separate Berlin locations were added in 1879-1882. An official library held a growing number of books, magazines and other printed products, which were used for checking the novelty of an invention. The library also held rare historical works and official publications of foreign patent offices. The library purchased or bartered for publications and patent documents from across Germany and abroad, exchanging with 15 other governments in the early years. The library received donations from institutions and chambers of commerce (programs and annual reports), companies (sales brochures), foreign governments (patent publications) or private individuals. The library already had 12900 items in 1879.[1] R. Fiedler, who had been a researcher in the Imperial Patent Office, described a practice ... American patents contained in the weekly Official Gazette "were carefully cut out, classified and glued in and formed as a so-called" American atlas "- with many thousands of sticky notes[2]
  • The office was again under one roof after a move in 1882 to Königgrätzer Straße 104-105, a place now on Stresemannstraße. At that location, the library had for the first time a public reading room where the "state of the art" for many technical areas was documented and searchable by anyone.[1]
  • In 1891, there were more than 230 employees and they moved again.
  • In 1877, 3,212 patent applications were filed with the office and 190 patents were granted. In 1890, 11,882 patent applications were filed and 4,680 patents were granted.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1877-1890 history at DPMA
  2. R Fiedler. 1905. One Hour in the Imperial Patent Office. Verlag Mesch & Lichtenfeld, Berlin.

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