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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Vacancy notice

The European Patent office is looking for a :

Legally qualified member of the boards of appeal (Board 3.1.01; several posts)

The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest intergovernmental organisation in Europe, employing almost 7 000 staff from over 30 countries. The EPO strives to support innovation and promote a knowledge-based society in Europe. Its mission is to secure the highest quality standards in patenting.
The persons appointed will be legally qualified members of the boards of appeal of the EPO, which under the European Patent Convention have final-instance jurisdiction with respect to European patents.
The boards of appeal are part of Directorate-General 3 Appeals (DG 3) and operate in a collegial manner. A legally qualified member of the boards of appeal performs duties of a judicial nature (Article 23 EPC) fully independently, not bound by any instructions and in compliance only with the provisions of the European Patent Convention (Article 23(3) EPC).

Main duties

  • Participation in all written and oral procedural stages of proceedings of the Legal Board and the technical boards of appeal, up to and including the decision terminating the proceedings
  • As rapporteur: making proposals for communications to the parties, preparing draft decisions and oral proceedings, including all related tasks, and, where necessary, taking evidence
  • After gaining experience in the duties of a legally qualified member of the boards of appeal, helping to train new board members and assistants
  • Taking part in the meetings of the Legal Board

Ideal candidate profile

  • Many years' professional experience, preferably in the field of patent law, with practical experience in patent opposition, appeal, nullity and infringement proceedings as a judge or lawyer in private practice, or as a legal adviser in public administration or industry
  • Proven very high standards of performance
  • Ability to act in a manner as befits a judge in dealings with colleagues, registrars and parties, which implies, in particular, open-mindedness, courtesy, patience, firmness and the ability to communicate effectively
  • An interest in technical subject-matter
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Sound knowledge of the EPC and of the case law of the boards of appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal

Minimum qualifications

  • Diploma of completed law studies at master's level or - in exceptional cases - equivalent professional knowledge and experience acquired over many years of qualified work
  • Excellent knowledge of one official language (English, French or German) and ability to understand the other two

Salary and benefits
The EPO offers competitive salaries, an excellent social package and varied work in a modern international environment. The net monthly salary for this vacancy starts at EUR 11 423.26. 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.

Procedure and timeframe
The successful candidate will be appointed by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation in accordance with Articles 11 and 23 of the European Patent Convention for a period of five years, and may be reappointed. Selection will be made on the basis of qualifications and an interview.
Internal candidates are asked to supplement their application, including motivation statement and curriculum vitae, with appraisal reports covering the last four years, as well as to agree to their superior being contacted if they are invited for an interview.

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).The EPO is an equal opportunities employer, and offers attractive salaries on a par with those paid by other international organisations. Its three official languages are English, French and German.

Please find further information on the EPO website following this link: