Launched in 2015, the Pan-European Seal Programme is a one-year comprehensive professional traineeship programme that bridges the gap between academia and the intellectual property (IP) labour market. The programme is jointly organised by Europe's pre-eminent IP Offices, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and targets leading European universities and educational institutions as strategic partners.
The programme's overall objective is to foster a culture of IP, increasing the IP knowledge and awareness of students: the IP professionals of the future. In addition, it injects insight from leading IP professionals and practitioners into the world of academia across a variety of fields, including law, but also science and engineering, finance and business, thereby enhancing IP education.
The Pan-European Seal Programme envisages close co-operation between the EPO and the programme's university members through a variety of IP education and outreach measures, in addition to giving promising young university graduates the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job professional work experience within the multicultural environment of the EPO.
To date, the EPO has established partnerships with more than 85 universities across 37 countries. The network of participating universities is further expanding as the EPO seeks to embrace co-operation with academic institutions across all its Member States and Extension States, with particular emphasis on universities with a strong science and engineering offering and an outspoken interest in IP education.