Engineers and Scientists
graduate job

Engineers and Scientists

European Patent Office
Over £37,001
Munich · The Hague
Time left to apply
24 days to apply on Prospects

Job description

The main tasks of an examiner are to search and examine patent applications received by the EPO. Patent applications are texts and drawings describing an invention and submitted by individuals or companies seeking legal protection.

Their daily work combines scientific expertise with analytical research and an eye for the legal aspects of intellectual property.

Key responsibilities

  • Carrying out patent examination from the search to the post-grant stage, and solving complex technical and legal problems in the process
  • Taking a broad perspective to identify solutions whilst ensuring the uniform and effective application of the EPC (European Patent Convention) and other legal texts
  • Creating and maintaining classification systems to ensure efficient and effective searching

Starting 2017.

Company information

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.

Person requirements

Qualifications and experience requirements

  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, engineering or natural sciences. The degree should be relevant to the technical field(s) indicated in this vacancy notice
  • Generally, an excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language (English, French and German) and working knowledge (at least B2) of the other two. In exceptional cases, excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language and working knowledge (at least B2) of another. In such cases, the Office may also consider offering a fixed-term contract for up to three years, which could be converted into permanent employment upon meeting the language requirements
  • Work experience in industry is not essential, but would be advantageous
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation

as well as the ability to

  • Analyse technical and subject-specific information
  • Retrieve technical information from databases and other sources
  • Analyse and compare technical matter according to the legal provisions applicable
  • Make decisions following the assessment of complex technical information, the application of legal requirements and the examination of parties' arguments
  • Write clear and well-reasoned communications
  • Interact with colleagues and applicants to process patent applications efficiently

Accepted degree subjects

health sciences · physics · engineering, electronic and electrical · mathematics · chemical engineering · engineering, transport · chemistry · materials science · computer sciences and IT · engineering, aerospace · engineering, mechanical · environmental science and ecology


Over £37,001

Relocation benefits and various allowances, depending on personal circumstances


Munich · The Hague

Contract and working hours

Permanent · Full-time

How to apply

Number of vacancies: More than 200 positions

The recruitment process comprises a combination of various online tests (e.g. cognitive ability, personality, languages) and one or more Skype interviews. If successful, you will be invited to attend a one- or two-day selection event in Munich. This event will involve one or more face-to-face interviews, supplemented as appropriate by additional technical, psychometric and/or language tests, and give you the opportunity to find out more about the EPO and the job of European patent examiner.

At the end of our selection process, we may place suitable candidates on a reserve list for a period of 12 months. The EPO may use the reserve list to fill vacant post with the same profile. However, being on a reserve list doesn't guarantee a job offer or imply any entitlement to employment at the EPO.

Closing date: 30/12/2016

This job listing will no longer be available on Prospects from 30/12/2016