Job group: 1
Duration of appointment: five years
Career path: Managerial
Location: The Hague/Munich
Application deadline: 05.09.2018
Applicants should be nationals of one of the European Patent Organisation's member states (currently Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom).
With almost 7 000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest public service institution in Europe. It supports innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through a commitment to high-quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention, its founding treaty. It has a yearly budget of EUR 2.3 billion, entirely financed by the fees paid by its users.
The EPO's headquarters are in Munich and it has a branch in The Hague and offices in Berlin, Vienna and Brussels. Through its centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of 700 million people. In 2017, it processed over 165 000 patent applications and granted over 105 000 patents. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information. It has built and operates the most comprehensive patent databases and generates tools that are used by most patent offices around the world. It boasts an extensive network of partners in patent offices and user assocations in particular.
The EPO is a highly diverse and multicultural environment with 35 different nationalities represented among its staff. The patent granting process can be conducted in the three official languages (English, French and German).
Appointed by the Administrative Council, the vice-presidents assist the President of the EPO in the implementation of established strategies and policies. The Vice-President Patent Granting Process (VP 1) is responsible for managing DG 1, the directorate-general that covers the entire patent granting process from end to end, including receiving sections, search, examination, publication, opposition and all related formalities. Comprising a workforce of 4 400 examiners (multilingual engineers and scientists) and 800 formalities officers, DG 1 is organised into three technical areas, each headed by a Chief Operating Officer (COO):
- Mobility and Mechatronics
- Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry
- Information and Communication Technology
DG 1 is also composed of three support-service areas, each led by a principal director:
- User Support and Quality Management (ISO certification process, quality management system and customer relations)
- Business Services (management and close monitoring of DG 1 performance based on analysis of capacity, production, operational quality and timeliness plans, patent practices and procedures, documentation and classification)
- Automation Support (application management of examiner and formalities-officer tools, application management of online tools operated by external users)
- Responsibility for the smooth functioning of the end-to-end patent granting process and accountability for the directorate-general's results
- Ensuring and developing the highest standards of quality for the patent granting process, defining quality policy and strategy, handling complaints and developing metrics analysis
- Ensuring that service delivery meets the needs of users in terms of production, timeliness and quality
- Managing the directorate-general's workforce and supervising the three COOs in co-ordination with the President of the EPO
- Acting as a member of the executive boards of the EPO and representing the Office in meetings of the Administrative Council and its sub-committees
- Representing the Office in meetings with external stakeholders (users, patent offices, international organisations)
- At least 10 years' experience in a European or international environment, in a role with a high level of responsibility
- Effective people-management and strong leadership skills in a dynamic and multicultural environment (cross-functional leadership)
- Ability to build a strong working relationship with management and staff
- Results-oriented attitude with the capacity to perform and work under high pressure while ensuring quality is maintained at the highest standards
- Effective communicator with strong ability to lead change while maintaining employee engagement and motivation
- Diploma of completed university studies at master's level or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience
- Excellent knowledge of one official language and ability to understand the other two
Salary and benefits
The EPO offers competitive salaries and an excellent social package. The net basic yearly salary[ 1 ] for this vacancy is EUR 187 000. The EPO also operates contributory medical-insurance and pension schemes. In addition, depending on their personal circumstances, EPO staff may be entitled to relocation benefits and various allowances.
Process and timeline
The successful candidate will be appointed by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, in co-ordination with the President of the EPO, for a period of five years, and may be reappointed. Selection will be made on the basis of qualifications and interview(s).
Completed applications, including a CV, application form (available for email applications as download at ) and a letter indicating the sponsorship of a Head of Delegation of a Contracting State () and/or of the President of the Office and quoting Ref. EPO VP 1, should be addressed to the Chairman of the Administrative Council via the EPO online tool available on the job page () or via email to VPfirstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for applications is 05.09.2018.
It is intended to hold the interviews in calendar week 38.
To foster gender diversity, the EPO encourages applications from female candidates.
The EPO is an equal opportunities employer and supports workforce diversity as a signatory to the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt) since 2010.
All applications for vacant positions will be welcomed and considered on the professional merits of the applicant against the role profile for the position regardless of nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.
[ 1 ] after deduction of EPO internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social-security and pension schemes.