European Patent Office

Technically qualified members (m/f) of the Boards of Appeal (3.2.05 - Mechanics)  (12622)

likely to arise

Job group: 3

Grade: G14/1 (net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 13 731)

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

Career path: Technical 

Location: Munich 

Application deadline: 09.07.2020



You will be appointed as a member of the EPO's Boards of Appeal, the judicial authority under the European Patent Convention that renders decisions on European patents at final instance.


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


Main duties

  • Contribute to a technical board’s review of a decision of a department of first instance of the EPO
  • As rapporteur: case management, making proposals for communications to the parties, preparing oral proceedings and drafting decisions, including all related tasks
  • Act as co-rapporteur, second member or chairman when required
  • Contribute to the overall improvement of the functioning of the Boards of Appeal (working methods, harmonisation, organisation, …)


Ideal candidate profile

  • Many years of professional experience in the field of patent law, preferably in the area of mechanics, with practical experience in patent opposition, appeal, nullity or infringement proceedings as a patent judge, patent examiner, patent attorney in private practice or patent expert in industry
  • Strong technical and legal analytical skills
  • Ability to work across a wide range of fields in mechanical engineering, in particular in polymer processing, security documents, or printing technology
  • Ability to carry out a judicial function, acting in an impartial, fair, balanced and efficient manner, displaying the high standard of conduct appropriate to persons exercising a judicial function
  • Profound knowledge of the European Patent Convention and of the case law of the Boards of Appeal and the Enlarged Board of Appeal
  • Proven track record of very high performance
  • High degree of commitment and self-motivation, as well as flexibility to work across technical fields
  • Ability to work collegially with board members and other colleagues
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing
  • Openness to receiving feedback and a high interest in professional development
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to manage the workload effectively, including meeting objectives
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment


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


What we offer  

  • Work as a member of a judicial authority which renders decisions at final instance
  • A highly professional, collegial and international work environment


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, supplemented as appropriate by tests.


Candidates from within the EPO are asked to supplement their application, including motivation statement and curriculum vitae, with appraisal reports covering the last four years, as well as to agree to their line manager being contacted.


Furthermore, they are requested to submit copies of two recent decisions dealing with the problem of inventive step (Article 56 EPC), preferably from inter partes proceedings. These decisions should, if possible, be in two different languages.  A copy of any set(s) of claims relevant to those decisions as well as the minutes of oral proceedings (if any took place) should be provided.


External candidates are asked to supplement their application, including motivation statement and curriculum vitae, with job references and/or certificates of employment, as well as to provide us with a name of a contact person who is able to inform us about their professional performance.


Furthermore, they are requested to provide two recent documents, personally drafted by them, such as copies of judgements or written submissions filed at a court or the EPO. Preferably, the submissions should address the issue of inventive step (Article 56 EPC). If these are not available in one of the official languages, the candidates are asked to submit a translation.


It is intended to hold the interviews in week 31 of 2020.


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 164th session on 13.- 14.10.2020. Applicants will only be notified of the outcome of their application thereafter.


To find out more about the boards of appeal: https://jobs.epo.org/content/Boards-of-Appeal/?locale=en_EN






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

To foster gender diversity, EPO encourages applications from women. 

The EPO is an equal opportunities employer and supports workforce diversity as a signatory to the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt) since 2010.
All applications for vacant positions will be welcomed and considered on the professional merits of the applicant against the role profile for the position regardless of nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.

About the EPO

The European Patent Office

With almost 7 000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Its headquarters are in Munich and it also has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

In 2019, the EPO received over 181 000 patent applications and granted over 137 000 patents. Its free online patent database, Espacenet, contains more than 100 million technical documents from 100 countries, and its free neural machine translation service, Patent Translate, provides instant, high-quality translation in 32 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

What we offer

  • intellectual challenges and empowerment through professional development
  • the chance to work with inspiring people from various different cultures
  • an excellent social package
  • contributory medical-insurance and pension schemes
  • relocation benefits and various allowances (e.g. household, dependants', childcare, education, expatriation, installation and rent allowance), depending on their personal circumstances


> Application procedure

> Recruitment process


🖂 jobinfo@epo.org