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Principal Directorate Legal Affairs

The Principal Directorate Legal Affairs is part of the Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs and comprises four directorates:

  • Patent Law
  • European and International Legal Affairs, PCT
  • Institutional Affairs, Legal and Unitary Patent Division and
  • Contract Law and Litigation.

Together, the staff of PD Legal Affairs are responsible for ensuring the correct application of the law, managing legal risk, developing, enhancing and promoting the legal framework of the European and international patent system including the PCT, supporting the European Patent Organisation in matters of institutional law and providing the EPO's business units with sound legal advice and expertise.

The portfolio of PD Legal Affairs is wide-ranging and varied and underpins every aspect of the EPO's work, from its core business and international relationships to its co-operation agreements, and from its status as an international organisation to the tenders it runs and the contracts it signs.

As a lawyer in Directorate Patent Law you will:

  • provide legal advice on European Patent Law
  • draft and perform legal analysis of proposals for amending the Implementing Regulations to the EPC or the PCT, including the Guidelines for Examination
  • draft legal opinions, decisions, notices and information on patent-related matters
  • represent the EPO in meetings with external stakeholders
  • give presentations, training and workshops on patent-related matters to internal and external stakeholders
  • draft documents for the President, the Administrative Council or other official bodies of the European Patent Organisation
  • serve on advisory bodies and participate in working groups
  • act as a legally qualified examiner in examination and opposition procedures 

 

As a lawyer in Directorate European and International Legal Affairs, PCT you will:

  • contribute to the further development and promotion of the European and international patent system, including the PCT and the Unitary Patent package
  • support the EPO's activities in the field of PCT, in particular assist in the further development and practical implementation of the PCT and the PCT Instructions and Guidelines as well as in the optimisation of the PCT procedures at the EPO
  • draft and carry out legal analysis of proposals for amending the Implementing Regulations to the EPC and the Rules relating to Fees
  • draft legal opinions, agreements, decisions, notices and information on patent-related matters, including legal support in the negotiation of agreements and their internal implementation
  • advise on matters of EU law and public international law
  • give presentations, training and workshops on patent-related matters to internal and external stakeholders
  • draft documents for the President, the Administrative Council or other official bodies of the European Patent Organisation
  • serve on advisory bodies and participate in working groups
  • represent the EPO in meetings with external stakeholders 

 

As a lawyer in Directorate Institutional Affairs, Legal and Unitary Patent Division you will:

  • handle complex cases concerning entries, amendments and deletions in the list of professional representatives, lawyers and associations as well as general issues on authorisations
  • act as a legally qualified member of the Legal Division drafting legal opinions, analyses and taking appealable decisions regarding the EP Register
  • conduct oral proceedings before the Legal Division
  • provide legal advice and draft legal opinions on matters of public international law, e.g. regarding the status of the EPO as an international organisation, the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, the Seat Agreements with the host countries
  • provide legal advice and draft legal opinions regarding the point of intersection between the national law of the various host countries and the law of the European Patent Organisation
  • provide legal assistance to the secretariat of the Administrative Council
  • co-ordinate litigation with external legal counsel with special regard to the immunity of the European Patent Organisation
  • advise on the European Patent Organisation's data protection law
  • participate in working groups

 

As a lawyer in Directorate Contract Law you will:

  • provide legal advice on procurement and contract matters, questions relating to the EPO's Financial Regulations and issues of public and private national law
  • draft and perform legal analysis of proposals for amending the Financial Regulations, Directive on Contracts, Tender Guidelines and related legal provisions
  • draft legal opinions and information on contract-related matters
  • represent the EPO in meetings with external stakeholders
  • give presentations, training and workshops to internal and external stakeholders
  • co-ordinate litigation and pre-litigation efforts with external legal counsel
  • draft documents for the President, the Administrative Council or other official bodies of the European Patent Organisation
  • serve on advisory bodies and participate in working groups