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European Patent Office

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EPO member and extension states


Director (EUR/5546)

The European Patent Office in Brussels is seeking a Director*

in Directorate 5.0.2

(3- to 5-year contract)

Deadline for applications: 6.10.2013

The Brussels office was set up in order to co-ordinate the EPO's relations with European institutions, i.e. the European Commission (EC), the Council of the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament (EP). It also liaises with several European industry associations and NGOs (based mainly in Brussels) which represent IP stakeholders. Its activities have gained further importance as implementation of the unitary patent regulations proceeds.

Main duties of the directorate

  1. Strengthening the EPO's visibility and an understanding of its role among the European institutions (EC, EU Council, EP, permanent representatives of the EU member states), as well as the relevant professional organisations, and    ensuring that the EPO's views reach the relevant decision-makers by exchanging policy, legal, economic and technical information on IP;
  2. Fostering a network of contacts with the European institutions, notably the EC, the EP and the Council, as well as industry associations, NGOs representing interests relevant for IP and the media at large;
  3. Co-operating with the EPO departments involved in proposing a policy and strategy for the EPO's relations with the European institutions, industry associations, NGOs and the media;
  4. Representing the EPO's official positions and positioning the EPO amongst opinion leaders.

Main duties of the director

The role of the Director 502, who reports direct to the Vice-President in charge of Legal and International Affairs (VP5), is to ensure that the directorate runs smoothly and achieves high standards in terms of quality and productivity.

This involves, in particular:

  • shaping an efficient structure in order to strengthen the effectiveness of DG5 in developing policies and strategies for the Office in dealing with European affairs;
  • providing reports and advice to EPO senior management on questions of policy and strategy with regard to the EPO's relations with the European institutions, industry associations and NGOs;
  • maintaining regular contact with representatives of the EU, including members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials and permanent representations of the member states, as well as relevant professional organisations;
  • exchanging information and views on IP with the European institutions and the relevant professional organisations (through both official and unofficial channels);
  • organising meetings between the President (and EPO senior management) and EU decision-makers and high-ranking officials from the relevant professional organisations;
  • supporting public awareness events (including press conferences) and campaigns, in co‑operation with the EPO's communication department;
  • developing efficient and effective processes inside the EPO and with the relevant interface or customer services;
  • developing an overall business plan (long-term strategy, objectives, workload/capacity, action plans, budgets, etc.) in line with requirements and EPO policy;
  • ensuring effective use of resources to achieve the objectives defined;
  • representing D 502 internally and externally as required;
  • actively participating in the management structures of DG5.

The ideal candidate will have

  • an excellent knowledge of public affairs;
  • a thorough understanding of patents and other IP rights, including legal, economical and societal issues;
  • excellent knowledge and understanding of the structure and political functions of major European organisations such as the EU and the EPO;
  • political judgement based on experience with the policy-making process at EU level;
  • capacity to define and develop EPO strategy relating to the policy-making process on patents;
  • experience of working in an international organisation and knowledge of the institutional context of such organisations;
  • highly developed communication skills, and the ability to represent the EPO vis-à-vis all relevant target groups;
  • excellent ability to communicate orally and in writing with a wide range of staff in the user, technical and senior management areas;
  • proven experience of managing a team of highly skilled professionals, including staff motivation and development, and co-ordination of work and information flow;
  • a structured approach to project management;
  • proven ability to work in a matrix organisational structure and participate actively in cross-functional teams;
  • ability to work and deliver under high pressure;
  • experience in the use of electronic information tools especially with a view to the efficient management of a service provider unit.

Minimum qualifications

Diploma of completed studies at university level or - in exceptional cases - equivalent knowledge acquired over many years of qualified work. Many years' professional experience in relation to the requested profile, including effective and proven management experience. Excellent knowledge of one official language** and ability to understand the other two.

The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications, supplemented as appropriate by interviews, tests and/or a personality questionnaire.

It is intended to hold the interviews on 31.10.2013 in Munich.

Application until: 6.10.2013

Please apply by sending us your online application.

Instructions for online job applications to the European Patent Office.

How to get there: directions for the European Patent Office in Brussels.

* Grade  A5

** English, French and German

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