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Required profile for an EPO patent examiner

“When I was young I was hesitating about what to become - an engineer or a lawyer? And this is what brings both together!”

Michail Papatheofrastou, examiner for transport and storage devices, The Hague

The job of a European patent examiner demands a unique combination of scientific expertise, analytical thinking, language skills and an interest in intellectual property law.

Minimum requirements

Candidates must meet the following formal requirements:

  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.

  • Diploma of completed university studies at Master’s level in physics, chemistry, engineering or natural sciences.
    The degree should be relevant to the technical field in which you would like to work.

  • Generally, an excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language (English, French and German) and working knowledge (at least B2) of the other two. In exceptional cases, excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language and working knowledge (at least B2) of another. In such cases, the willingness to learn the third language and to reach Level B2 within three years would be required.)

You should also have a genuine interest in technology, an eye for detail and an analytical mind.


Work experience in industry is not essential, but would be an advantage.


Applicants must also be willing to relocate to Munich, The Hague or Berlin, the EPO sites at which patents are examined. You can apply direct to your preferred location.

For further information, please see the FAQ on applicant profiles.