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Legal and International affairs

The EPO's Directorate-General 5, Legal/International Affairs, is a highly motivated team of legal and technical experts whose job is to enhance and promote co-operation with IP offices within and beyond Europe, to foster and maintain relations with external stakeholders and to ensure a proper legal framework for the EPO as a leader in the IP world and a model international organisation.

In DG 5 we pride ourselves on the contribution we make to the organisation's mission. As a team we are happy to go the extra mile to ensure the EPO remains at the forefront of the IP world.

The highly qualified and talented staff who make up the DG 5 team are encouraged to take on challenging tasks and responsibility for the work they do. We promote excellence and foster continued professional development.

Our mission is

  • to promote, strengthen and co-ordinate international affairs
  • to safeguard and build the legal framework of the European Patent Organisation and the patent system in general
  • to foster and support external patent-related information and training


Our teams

European and International Co-operation (Principal Directorate 5.1)
PD 5.1 works to ensure implementation of the EPO's co-operation strategy through the development and strengthening of the European patent network (EPN) and relations with non-member states and external users. PD 5.1 also oversees and administers the European qualifying examination (EQE).

Unitary Patent, European and International Legal Affairs (Principal Directorate 5.2) and Legal Services (Principal Directorate 5.3)
Some of our legal experts are responsible for institutional and contractual matters, helping the EPO in its objective to be a model international organisation, whilst our other team of lawyers deal exclusively with the development of patent law and procedure at European and international level.

Patent Information – European Patent Academy (Principal Directorate 5.4)
PD 5.4 supports the EPO's position as the world's leading provider of patent information. It also provides comprehensive training to guarantee that all external stakeholders have the best possible understanding of the patent system and its benefits.