The German Patent Office operates a deferred patent examination system under which patent applications remain dormant until the applicant takes steps to initiate the examination procedure.
After filing, assuming formal requirements have been met and unless an optional request for a novelty search report is filed, the application will remain dormant until a request for examination of the application is filed.
The applicant may choose to file the request for examination at any time but if the request is not filed within seven years from the application date, the application lapses (but in some cases extensions of time are available). Fees are payable upon filing the request for examination and maintenance fees must be paid in the meantime if the application is to be kept in force.
We will not in general write specially about the need to lodge the examination request until nearer the end of the period allowed for doing so.
If you would like us to take any action, or need further advice, please let us know.
This information is simplified and should not be taken as a definitive statement of law of practice.