stands for the imperial term Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster, meaning that the use and/or function of an item was officially registered, as explained on the ⇒Musterschutz page.
During Allied occupation up until 1949, registration procedures remained untouched and still used the D.R.G.M. registration documents. The registration itself was valid for three years, which of course explains why D.R.G.M. marks can be found on products actually manufactured up until 1952. As from the end of October 1952, registered items were marked under the term Deutsches Bundesgebrauchsmuster (D.B.G.M.).
Hold in mind that a D.R.G.M. registration is not a patent, even if the application had to be filed at the patent office. The main reason for this incorrect assumption is either a misunderstanding or incorrect translation. In colloquial language, the D.R.G.M. registration was made fun of by calling it kleines Reichspatent, something which indeed literally stands for small imperial patent. However that tongue-in-cheek remark referred to the fact that many manufacturers could simply not afford to register a true patent, as German patent registration fees where more than twice as high as those in England and even 36 (!) times higher than those in the United States. True patents are always represented by the ⇒Deutsches Reichspatent mark, sometimes abbreviated either D.R.P. or R.P..
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