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The EPO offers a limited number of internship places for national judges of the EPC contracting states at the EPO boards of appeal.
The programme is organised by the European Patent Academy, whose objectives include the promotion of equal access to training opportunities related to international and European patent law and practice in all current and future EPC contracting states, and the boards of appeal.
The internship programme will be for a duration of one month.
Judicial interns will attend a one-week intensive training course on patentability requirements and the procedures of the boards of appeal.
This will be followed by a three-week "shadowing" of a Technical Board of Appeal. This will involve reading all the case files, attending and observing the case during the oral proceedings and discussing the case and the final decisions with the board.
Due to the secrecy of deliberations rule, interns will not assist or participate in reaching the final decision of a case.
This internship programme is open to qualified and practising national judges, nationals of and resident in the EPC contracting states.
Priority will be given to applicants who work in courts which are competent to deal with patent cases.
The main language of the internship programme will be in English, so a good command of the English language is essential.
The 2016 internship session will take place between 30 May and 24 June (four weeks).
The EPO makes a contribution towards living costs and travel to Munich. It does not cover any other expenses.
Judicial interns must provide evidence of health insurance.
The application deadline for the 2016 internship session was 7 January 2016. The 2017 internship session, and the corresponding application deadlines, will be announced in due course.