Legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal (3.1.01)  (21141) - several posts likely to arise

Successful candidates will be appointed as a legally qualified member of the Boards of Appeal.


The Boards of Appeal are an independent judicial authority under the European Patent Convention. Their decisions on European patents are final and not subject to any further appeal. In most cases, they decide in a composition of two technically qualified members and one legally qualified member.


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 must comply only with the provisions of the European Patent Convention (Article 23(3) EPC).


Main duties

  • Contributing to all stages of proceedings before the technical Boards of Appeal and the Legal Board of Appeal, including oral proceedings.
  • Reviewing drafts of communications to the parties and of decisions drawn up by technically qualified members of the Boards of Appeal.
  • As rapporteur: drafting communications to the parties, preparing oral proceedings, and drafting decisions.


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 Contracting States of the European Patent Organisation.


Ideal candidate profile

  • Many years of professional experience in intellectual property law, preferably in patent law, as a judge, lawyer in private practice, or legal adviser in public administration or industry.
  • Profound knowledge of the European Patent Convention and of the case law of the Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal.
  • Strong legal and technical analytical skills.
  • Ability to carry out a judicial function, to act in an impartial, fair, balanced and efficient manner, and to display the high standard of conduct appropriate to persons exercising a judicial function.
  • Proven track record of very high performance.
  • High degree of commitment and self-motivation.
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to manage workload effectively, including meeting objectives.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Openness to receiving feedback and a high interest in professional development.
  • Ability to work collegially with board members and other colleagues in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment.


What we offer  

  • Work as a member of a judicial authority of final instance which has a central role in the development of European patent law.
  • A highly professional, collegial and international work environment.
  • Extensive professional development opportunities.
  • Competitive remuneration package.


Procedure and time frame

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


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


Candidates are asked to supplement their application, including motivation statement and curriculum vitae, with appraisal reports and/or certificates of employment, as well as with information on whom to contact about their professional performance.

Furthermore, they are requested to provide two recent work samples in one of the official languages of the EPO, e.g., copies of decisions or written submissions filed at a court or the EPO, personally drafted by them. If these are not available in one of the official languages, a translation should be submitted.


It is intended to hold the interviews in week 3 and/or 4 of 2023.

The recruitment procedure will be finalised upon decision of the Administrative Council. It is currently envisaged that a proposal is presented to the Administrative Council for decision at its 174th session on 22.03.2023. Applicants will only be notified of the outcome of their application thereafter.


To find out more about the boards of appeal:





Key Information


Job group: 3

Grade: G14/1 (net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 13 800)

Duration of appointment: Five-year term with possibility of re-appointment

Career path: Technical 

Location: Munich 

Application deadline: 03.01.2023

Interviews planned: Week commencing 16 and/or 23.01.2023



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


We welcome all applications for vacant positions. We consider each on its professional merits – regardless of your nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.



Why join us?
✓ Be part of the EPO`s transformation and enable innovation
✓ Work with inspiring people from a variety of cultures
✓ Develop yourself and take on an intellectual challenge

What's in it for you?
✓ A competitive salary
✓ Family-friendly benefits
✓ A good work-life balance
✓ Relocation benefits and various allowances
✓ Contributory medical insurance and pension schemes
✓ 30 days' leave per year

Who we are
We are the patent office for Europe. We are proud to deliver high-quality patents and efficient services that foster innovation, competitiveness and economic growth.

Our vision
We're currently undergoing a change inspired by a common vision: our Strategic Plan 2023. Join us on this exciting journey to a more digital, collaborative and sustainable organisation.

Our work environment
We believe that diversity is fundamental to our success. Our inclusive work environment respects, values and celebrates our individual differences. We want you to be yourself at work.

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