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This paper is concerned with the analysis of the observability of the discrete event systems (DES) modeled by interpreted Petri nets (IPN). This paper presents three major contributions on the field of the observability of DES. First, an observability definition for IPN is proposed. This definition is more precise than previous ones because it deals with the possibility of determining the system's initial state, using the knowledge of the system's inputs, outputs, and structure. Later, a novel characterization of the IPN exhibiting the observability property that is based on the IPN structure is presented. Finally, a method for designing asymptotic observers is discussed. The main advantage over other methods is that the observer presented herein is given as an IPN, allowing further analysis of the system-observer pair.