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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Vacancy notice

The European Patent office is looking for a:

Technically qualified member (m/f) of the Boards of Appeal (Mechanics) (9801)

several posts likely to arise

Job group: 3
Grade: G14 (net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 12 888)
Duration of appointment: Five-year term with possibility of re-appointment
Career path: Technical
Location: Munich
Application deadline: 9.11.2018

You will be appointed as a member of the EPO's boards of appeal, the judicial authority under the European Patent Convention that renders decisions on European patents at final instance.

Members of the boards of appeal are independent in the performance of their judicial duties. In their decisions they are not bound by any instructions and have to comply only with the provisions of the European Patent Convention.

Main duties

  • Contribute to a technical board’s review of a decision of a department of first instance of the EPO
  • Act as rapporteur in technical cases, preparing cases and oral proceedings in view of the organisational requirements of the board and drafting communications and decisions
  • Act as co-rapporteur, second member or chairman when required
  • Contribute to the overall improvement of the functioning of the Boards of Appeal (working methods, harmonisation, organisation, …)

Ideal candidate profile

Experience and skills

  • Many years of professional experience in the field of patent law, preferably in the area of mechanical engineering and/or medical technologies (one post), with practical experience in patent opposition, appeal, nullity or infringement proceedings as a patent judge, patent examiner, patent attorney in private practice or patent expert in industry
  • Ability to work across a wide range of fields in mechanics
  • Ability to carry out a judicial function, acting in an impartial, fair, balanced and efficient manner, displaying the high standard of conduct appropriate to persons exercising a judicial function
  • Ability to work in a multilingual and multicultural environment
  • Strong technical and legal analytical skills
  • Profound knowledge of the European Patent Convention and of the case law of the Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to manage the workload effectively, including meeting objectives
  • Proven track record of very high performance

Other competencies

  • Ability to work collegially with board members and other colleagues
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  • Openness to receiving feedback and a high interest in professional development
  • High degree of commitment and self-motivation, as well as flexibility to work across technical fields

Minimum qualifications

  • Diploma of completed 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 the ability to understand the other two
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation

What we offer

  • Varied and interesting work as a member of a judicial authority which renders decisions at final instance
  • A highly professional, collegial and international work environment

To find out more about the boards of appeal:

Procedure and time frame

The successful candidate will be appointed by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation for a period of five years, and may be reappointed subject to a positive opinion and performance evaluation by the President of the Boards of Appeal.

Selection will be made on the basis of qualifications and an interview. 

Candidates from within the EPO 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 line manager being contacted if they are invited for an interview. 

Furthermore, they are requested to submit copies of two recent decisions dealing with the problem of inventive step (Article 56 EPC), preferably from inter partes proceedings. These decisions should, if possible, be in two different languages. A copy of any set(s) of claims relevant to those decisions as well as the minutes of oral proceedings (if any took place) should be provided.

External candidates are asked to provide copies of two recent written submissions filed at the EPO, personally drafted by them, selected among notices of opposition, statements of grounds of appeal, or replies thereto. Preferably, the submissions should address the issue of inventive step (Article 56 EPC). 

It is intended to hold the interviews in week 48 and 51 of 2018.

* after deduction of EPO internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social-security and pension schemes.

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