Training at the EPO for patent attorneys
The EPO offers the opportunity for patent attorneys who have not yet passed the European qualifying examination to receive training within the EPO in Munich. The term "attorney" is intended to include persons active in the free profession as well as in industry. This training started at the beginning of 1991, and although it is mainly aimed at candidates for the European qualifying examination, it is also open to professional representatives who have been entered on the list under Article 163 EPC. A particular target group are people whose mother tongue is not an EPO official language or who come from under-represented contracting states, and these applicants are given preference in the application procedure.
The trainees spend a period of 4 weeks with Directorate-General (DG) 2. If desired, a period of up to 4 weeks with DG 3 may also be provided for. The length of the interval between these two periods can be chosen by the trainee. In DG 2 the trainees work on actual cases and are supervised by an examiner. They can participate in examiners' courses that take place during their stay. In DG 3 the trainees are assigned to a technical board of appeal. During both periods the trainees are able to attend oral proceedings and become acquainted with other activities of the EPO in its Munich office.
It has been found useful for the trainees to produce a report on their activities and
impressions on termination of their internship.
Costs and accommodation
The EPO does not charge the trainees. The trainees have to finance their stay in Munich themselves. The EPO supplies information on affordable accommodation and local banks who can offer loans, if so desired. The final arrangements have to be made by the trainees personally.
The programme is open to nationals of all EPC contracting states having their residence within the territory of one of the contracting states. In exceptional cases exemptions can be granted from the nationality criterion.
A basic knowledge of the European patent grant procedure is required, a condition for admission being that the trainee has successfully completed the EPI/CEIPI Basic Training Course in European Patent Law* or an equivalent course.
The trainees must have a good knowledge of at least one of the official languages, and should have a basic knowledge of the other two.
Applications from persons wishing to participate in 1997 should reach the EPO by 31 October 1996. An application form can be found on page 376.
It is essential that you give your preferred technical field according to the International Patent Classification to enable us to place you in an appropriate directorate.
At present up to 30 candidates a year can be accepted for training.
To date, 80 trainees have gained work experience in DG 2 and /or DG 3. The figures below show the origin of these trainees in 1991 - 1995. 2 AT, 5 BE, 15 CH, 10 DE, 1 DK, 1 ES, 1 FI, 13 FR, 5 GB, 1 IE, 11 IT, 2 JP, 3 LI, 8 NL, 2 SE.
Further information can be obtained from Ms Gerda Streiner, Tel. (+49-89)2399-5102.
For technical reasons, the forms embedded in this article are only available in the PDF version.