Our learning paths are preselected combinations of courses offering guided learning in a specific patent-related area. Start your learning journey anytime and proceed at your own pace.

LP1 - Getting to know patents

As one of the main types of IP rights, patents are of considerable importance as they offer solutions to technical problems of various kinds. But what exactly is a patent, and what can you expect after being granted one? What requirements do you need to fulfil, and how does the EPO go about assessing the patent applications it receives?

You will discover the answers to all of these questions in this learning path

In particular you will find out..

  • what a patent is – and what it is not – as well as the substantive legal requirements it must meet (course 1)
  • who the patent stakeholders are and what the different prosecution procedures involve (course 1)
  • what you need to comply with when applying for a patent, i.e. the patentability requirements for applications and inventions (courses 2 and 3)
  • the methodology used by the EPO to evaluate the different patentability criteria for both applications and inventions (course 3 DA)


LP2 - The value of patent documentation

The world around us is full of new technical ideas that successfully transform our everyday life. But what is the role of patents in this landscape? What conditions does an invention have to meet to become a patent? Moreover, what is patent information and in which ways can you benefit from it? 

You will get the answers to all of these questions in this learning path.

In particular you will learn about...


  • the role and utility of patents in innovation and research and how to use patent documentation for a particular research project (course 1)
  • the strategical and practical relevance of patents and IP in general for research-driven businesses with the help of real-life case studies (course 2)
  • how you can benefit from patent information and how you can efficiently retrieve and monitor patent information by using EPO tools (course 3)


LP3 - Finding your way through searches

Patent documents are a rich source of technical and legal information openly available to anyone who is interested. But with so many documents and so much information out there, it's easy to lose your way. How do you access the patent information you need in a timely manner, and how can you ensure that you haven't missed any relevant information? Is there a classification system under which all this information is stored?

The answers to these and many more related questions can be found in this learning path

In particular you will learn...

  • about the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) scheme and how it differs from other systems as well as about Y02, the classification scheme for climate change mitigation technologies (course 1)
  • about the structuresyntax and rules of the CPC and how to identify the relevant information for classification (course 2)
  • how to devise an effective search strategy, how to evaluate the prior art you find and how to know when to stop searching (course 3)
  • how to analyse patent applications and how to select and work best with different search tools and databases in order to apply the search strategy and assess the results (course 4)
  • about EPO strategies and techniques focusing on efficient search strategies, the search practice in specific technical fields, as well as developments in handling Asian patent documentation and access to non‑patent literature (course 5)


LP4 - Patentability of new technological developments

This learning path looks at the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on our daily lives and across all areas of society and technology worldwide. As blockchain technology is applied in an increasing number of technical areas, more and more inventions involving its use are proving to be patentable. In order to capitalise on the opportunities new technologies present, we have to have a comprehensive understanding of various related issues. These include compliance requirementsfields of applicationsearching and examining, the current technological landscape and the associated challenges and opportunities that these new technologies bring to patenting.