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The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest European organisation, employing 7 000 staff from over 30 countries.
The EPO is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation. It is headquartered in Munich, but also has a branch in The Hague, offices in Berlin and Vienna, and a liaison office in Brussels.
The EPO strives to support innovation and promote a knowledge-based society in Europe:
- Patent protection enables inventors and companies to be rewarded for their innovation.
- The EPO has built up the world's largest databases of technical information, which it makes available to the public free of charge.
- It also offers a complete range of training on patenting and IP issues
The EPO's mission is to secure the highest quality standards in patenting:
- The European Patent Convention (EPC) provides the legal backbone for its patenting practice.
- The EPO offers a uniform application procedure leading to patent protection in up to 40 European countries.
- Processes at the EPO are fair, transparent and closely monitored for quality at all times.
As an employer, the EPO provides a distinctly multinational work environment in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere:
- We focus on building long-term relationships with our employees.
- We empower our staff to take responsibility and make the right decisions.
Based on this foundation of mutual trust and respect, we at the EPO are ready to meet the future challenges in European intellectual property.
To apply for a job at the EPO, use the online application form included as a link in each vacancy notice.
Each notice also specifies the EPO unit and site concerned (Munich, The Hague, Berlin or Vienna), the main duties of the post, the minimum qualifications required of candidates, and the closing date for applications.
When applying online, be sure to give your
- name, date of birth, and up-to-date contact details
- your nationality(ies) your educational qualifications (attaching your diplomas)
- your language skills in English, French and German (those not mentioned will be assumed not to exist)
- your work experience to date
This list is not exhaustive, but if the above points are not included you will be unlikely to make it past the first hurdle.
Here are the basic steps in the selection process for a position at the EPO:
Fill out the online application form included as a link in each vacancy notice. You will receive confirmation by e-mail that your application has been received.
After the closing date, a selection board goes through the applications and decides which candidates to invite for interview (N.B. patent examiner recruitment is ongoing and has no closing dates).
Step 3: Shortlisted candidates are interviewed at the EPO site to which they applied. The interview evaluates their language skills and whether they have the professional skills required. As part of the selection procedure, candidates might also be asked to sit tests.
Step 4: The selection board usually recommends one or more candidates as suitable for the post in question. The final decision is taken by or on behalf of the President of the EPO.
The selected candidate receives a job offer by post. The offer is conditional on passing a medical examination conducted by a local doctor at the EPO site where the candidate was interviewed.
Final confirmation of recruitment is also dependent on passing a pre-employment screening check. This process is compulsory for all new recruits, who cannot start work at the EPO until it has been completed.
Screening begins as soon as the selected candidate has passed the medical examination, accepted our conditional job offer and provided us with a Letter of Authorisation to start the process.