“There is a lot to learn in the first couple of years when you start as a patent examiner. And throughout the course of your entire career you will have to continue to learn.”
Willem Gijsels, examiner for telecommunications, The Hague
Examining patents is a very responsible job.
The European patent is an internationally recognised benchmark for quality, and
making the right decisions on patent grants requires a high level of expertise.
The EPO provides
a two-year training programme for newly recruited examiners, combining classroom learning
with tutoring by individually assigned coaches.
Training usually takes place at the examiners'
place of work, namely Munich, The Hague or
empowers examiners-in-training by providing:
Classroom learning in
groups of 12 (or fewer).
the first two years, examiners enrol in an extensive training program to become familiar
with the tools and procedures necessary for the job.
Guided learning with a personally
Mainly during their first year, examiners are assigned personal coaches.
These are specially trained and experienced examiners who are experts in
the new examiner's field.
The training covers:
Hands-on learning about
everyday tools and procedures.
Courses cover computer tools, databases, search methods and procedures used
in everyday examining work.
Legal and practical expertise.
learn to apply the patentability criteria: novelty, inventive step and industrial
applicability. They also attend courses on European and international
patent law and practice.
New recruits will preferably be proficient in all three EPO languages, but
some may need to work on one or two. The EPO offers the necessary language
Work on real-life
the close supervision of their coaches, newly recruited examiners work on actual
patent applications from day one.
Meet our examiners