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19 Nov 2023

Curious about future innovation?

Imagine exploring every day, before almost anyone else, breakthrough developments. As a patent examiner, you have the chance to support the inventors who will shape our world, and the lives of millions of people, for years to come.

Supporting innovation, competitiveness, sustainability and economic growth: that’s our mission at the European Patent Office (EPO)

As the patent office for Europe, we are proud to deliver high-quality, efficient services that promote a safer, smarter and more sustainable world. A world in which we are committed to helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the highest environmental, social and governance standards. Moreover, as an equal opportunities employer, the EPO is shaped by the diversity of our people’s personalities, knowledge and cultures. Interested in joining us?

What’s in it for you

  • Gain unique insights into the latest inventions
  • Work with inspiring multilingual people from a variety of cultures
  • Various career development opportunities to help you realise your full potential, including as an expert or manager
  • Contribute to multiple projects that help shape the future of the EPO

Who we’re looking for

We are currently seeking scientists and engineers who share our passion for innovation and wish to work at the cutting edge of technology, analysing the latest inventions, in particular in the technical areas of:

  • Semiconductors: Organic LEDs, Image devices and Packaging
  • Semiconductor fabrication processes and cooling systems (Physicist background)
  • Semiconductor devices and manufacturing technology (Physicist or Electrical Engineer background)
  • Semiconductor processing, memory technologies and/or OLED manufacturing (Physicist and/or Chemists or engineer background with knowledge in the mentioned field)
  • Packaging technology for semiconductors
  • Printed circuits: Details of and methods for manufacturing printed circuits, i.e. methods for forming the circuit itself as well as mounting and electrically connecting components thereto

What you will do as a patent examiner

  • Carry out end-to-end examination of patent applications, i.e. the texts and drawings that describe an invention for which an individual or a company seeks legal protection
  • Find and use the most relevant documentation to assess the patentability of the invention
  • Support the entire innovation ecosystem by deciding whether a patent is to be granted
  • Ensure the uniform and effective application of the European Patent Convention and other legal texts.

What we expect from you: Scientific expertise, analytical thinking, language skills

You can apply your dazzling powers of analysis to the wealth of highly technical information that you expertly retrieve from the relevant databases and other sources. When making informed decisions with confidence and clarity, you have the capacity to consider all the legal requirements and the parties’ arguments. You convey the outcome in clear and well‑reasoned communications and feel comfortable interacting with colleagues and applicants to process patent applications efficiently. You’re always keen to learn, hungry for knowledge of the latest developments in your field and beyond and eager to acquire new skills and to pick up technologies in different fields. You’re happy to work remotely but also appreciate joining your colleagues in the office to work with your team in person, network and socialise. Sound like you?

What are our minimum requirements?

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent / above) covering one or more technical fields mentioned above
  • Excellent knowledge (at least C1) of one official language (English, French or German) and the ability to understand the other two; alternatively, excellent knowledge (at least C1) of English (in such cases, the willingness to learn the missing languages and to reach level B2 within a set time frame would be required)
  • Work experience in industry would be an advantage.
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.

An above-market social package? That’s what we offer at the EPO

  • A competitive salary
  • Family-friendly benefits
  • Generous flexibility options allowing you to work from anywhere in the country of employment (min. onsite attendance applies) and a set number of days from any EPC member country
  • Relocation benefits and various allowances (e.g. household, dependants, childcare, education, expatriation, installation, rent allowance)
  • Contributory medical insurance and pension schemes
  • 30 days of leave per year
  • Free gym access
  • Social activities and clubs

Start making a difference. Simply click Apply.


The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications, competencies, professional experience and language knowledge, supplemented as appropriate by technical assessments, interviews and/or a personality questionnaire.

A reserve list may be constituted, should more candidates than required at this time be considered suitable following the selection procedure. Such reserve lists are valid for a period of 24 months and reserve list candidates may be contacted, should a vacancy with substantially the same profile arise during that period.

Key information

Job group: 4

Grade: G7 to G10 (net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 6450 to 9360, depending on experience and location)

Duration of contract: Five years, with the possibility of extension

Career path: Technical

Location: Hybrid based in Germany (Munich) or The Netherlands (The Hague)

Technical Interviews estimated for: October 2023 – January 2024

Final interviews planned for: November 2023 – February 2024

* 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.

  • Job Type: Experienced Job
  • Career Sector: Patents
  • Area of Specialism: Physics
  • Experience Level: Part Qualified 1-3 Years
  • Job Reference: 21640
  • Location: Hybrid based in Germany (Munich) or The Netherlands (The Hague)
  • Contract Type: Temporary/Contract
  • Employment Type: Full Time, Part Time
  • Salary: EUR 6450 to 9360, depending on experience
  • Start Date: Immediate
  • Date Posted: 30 Oct 2023
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