1. The basic course provides a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the law and practice of the European patent system. Over the years, the CEIPI (Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies) and the epi (Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office) have together devised a basic training programme in European patent law designed primarily for prospective professional representatives before the EPO.
2. The basic training courses in European patent law are jointly prepared by the epi and the CEIPI and organised by the CEIPI. They take usually two years, starting most often at the beginning of the calendar year, but, for some of them, in autumn (see par. 10).
3. Altogether 40 courses are currently available in the following cities:
BE: Antwerp, Brussels
CH: Basel, Lausanne, Zurich
DE: Aachen, Berlin, Cologne, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Ludwigshafen, Munich, Stuttgart, Ulm
ES: Barcelona, Madrid
FR: Lyon, Paris
GB: London, Manchester
IT: Milan, Rome
NL: The Hague
PL: Cracow, Warsaw
In addition to the courses in these cities, CEIPI is offering a basic training course exclusively organized online in order to allow persons from other places to also attend this training.
4. The basic training scheme, which is also intended to help candidates to prepare for the European qualifying examination, usually lasts two years and is designed to accompany professional practice, starting shortly after the future patent specialist has begun training with a professional representative or patent department. Students may also be admitted to most courses after the first year.
5. The basic training courses take the form of private study directed and actively supported by local "tutors", all experienced specialists in European patent law, who, according to a schedule published before the start of the course, discuss topics and cases previously prepared by participants, answer questions and set further topics for study. The success of the "tutorial" depends on the active co-operation of the trainees with their own presentations and case studies.
6. The list of topics to be covered encompasses the whole European patent law and qualifying examination syllabus and indicates the reference material to be used. Training material as well as publications and further documents are also made available. The tutors regularly receive circular letters and further training material.
Several courses offer complementary activities, such as the participation in oral proceedings at the European Patent Office, mock trials, courses on particular topics such as claim drafting, etc.
7. Tutors' meetings take place over two days every year at Strasbourg University to discuss in the light of experience how best to structure the courses.
8. On completion of the basic course, candidates are expected to round off their training and prepare for the European qualifying examination (EQE) through private study. Special courses are available, such as the epi tutorials and the five-day CEIPI preparation seminars for the EQE pre-examination and main examination, held in Strasbourg or online (pre-exam seminar in October, Papers A+B and C in November and Paper D in January, see the OJ EPO 3/2022), plus a variety of national courses.
9. Unlike other courses, the CEIPI basic training in European patent law does not concentrate solely on the preparation for the EQE, but this training provides candidates with a broad grounding in European patent law and its international ramifications.
10. Courses start either in autumn or, most often, at the beginning of the year, if there is a minimum of six participants in each case and suitable tutors available. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the courses are currently organised remotely. However, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, a return to the on-site training format is planned.
For 2022/23, the fee is EUR 1 600 per year of studies (EUR 3 200 for intensive one-year courses).
11. To enable the next round of courses to be organised in good time, those interested are asked to contact the CEIPI as soon as possible and in any event not later than 15 July 2022 for enrolments for the courses starting in autumn, and 15 December 2022 for the courses starting in early 2023. In the case of early enrolments (by 1 July 2022 for the courses starting in autumn, by 1 December 2022 for the courses starting in early 2023), a reduced fee is applicable.
The CEIPI Office can give you any further information you need.