See also

Find out more about the European Patent Office.

European Patent Office

See the full list of the EPO member and extension states.

EPO member and extension states


Required profile for an EPO patent examiner

“When I was young I was hesitating about what to become - an engineer or a lawyer? And this is what brings both together!”

Michail Papatheofrastou, examiner for transport and storage devices, The Hague

The job of a European patent examiner demands a unique combination of scientific expertise, analytical thinking, language skills and an interest in intellectual property law.

Minimum requirements

Candidates must meet the following formal requirements:

  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.

  • Diploma of completed university studies at Master’s level in physics, chemistry, engineering or natural sciences.
    The degree should be relevant to the technical field in which you would like to work.

  • Generally, an excellent knowledge of one official language (English, French and German) and the ability to understand the other two.

    In exceptional cases, excellent knowledge of one official language and the ability to understand another. In such a case, the Office may also consider offering a fixed-term contract (for a maximum of three years) instead of permanent employment. Candidates recruited on that basis may be appointed as permanent employees if, no later than three months before expiry of the contract, they demonstrate that they have reached the level of knowledge of the third language stipulated in the contract.

You should also have a genuine interest in technology, an eye for detail and an analytical mind.


Work experience in industry is not essential, but would be an advantage.


Applicants must also be willing to relocate to Munich, The Hague or Berlin, the EPO sites at which patents are examined. You can apply direct to your preferred location.

For further information, please see the FAQ on applicant profiles.

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