R&D Innovations Products to Market Revenues Technology licensing IPR licensing Return on investments
More focus on: Business aspects Legal aspects Other IP rights Capacity to combine these aspects to come to a broad view Communication skills
Characteristics: Technical: think with the inventor Strategic: have a vision of the future Legal: place in right legal framework (contract, patents) Commercial: make business plan, invest in inventions, value creation Thus: very exciting, divers job with world-wide contacts
Technical-scientific university degree To become a Dutch “octrooigemachtigde”: 2 years of SBO training + 3 years in practice EP patent attorney: 1 more year of training + exams (only admitted to these exams after 3 years of practice)
Connect to trends in the IP world, I.e. Intellectual Economy The Dutch patent attorney should be (at least) equally well trained as his German and English colleague A good preparation for the European exam
General law Patent law NL law, EU, and others like US, Far East Other IP rights (like Trade Marks, Copyrights) and European law (like Competition law) Practical skills apply for a patent / defend claims Give advise to client Commercialize IP General skill modules, like communication and pleading, visit court
Two year training program divided in modules Work load: 300+ teaching hours and 700+ hours self study: Classes with home work Mandatory versus optional Optional modules: Commercialize IP, Pleading, Visit court, extra sessions for drafting (also for resitters), communication and pleading Mandatory modules end with an exam; optional modules are intended to broaden the candidates’ horizon.
Passing all SBO exams means a candidate is qualified to become Dutch patent attorney, and be entered into the register of patent attorneys However, candidates must also complete 3 years in practice working with a mentor – a registered NL patent attorney From entry into register, patent attorneys are subject to scrutiny by the disciplinary board (only members of the Institute)
Only qualified candidates may be entered into the register (exams + 3 years experience) Membership of the institute is mandatory to be legally allowed to practice the profession (“octrooigemachtigde”: legally protected title) Only attorneys at law may practice as a patent attorney (special provision in the patent attorney regulation) Normally attorneys at law and patent attorneys act in closely collaborating teams The institute is the only organisation requiring (by Law) that its members are entered into the register
Non-profit organization with supervisory board from government, industry, private practice and Dutch organization of patent attorneys “Orde” Professional management organization (Management Center of University Nijmegen for post-university education) Head tutors with a team of tutors per subject Top-tutors from government, university, industry, private practice (IP firms and law firms) Tutors are paid for their services Costs of course (2009) ~ 17k€
Up to now (2009) 250+ students (200+ qualified, 50 currently in training) Start January 2000 Now ca. 25-30 students/year Course is very much appreciated based on thorough evaluation with students, tutors and employers Training is felt as heavy, but appropriate preparation for EQE Passing rate is reasonable to high
Course is used as a start in profession to get broad basis for EQE Following NL course candidates do Deltapatent course to become EU qualified
NL now has highest percentage of EU patent attorneys that passed EQE (75%) as compared to grandfathers Passing rate of NL candidates for EQE among highest (last year 50%) Passing rate on average over the whole of EPC contracting states: approx. 20%.
Independent Board of Discipline (instituted by law) Members of the Board chosen from the members of the institute, but the chairman appointed by government (must have legal University degree)
NL SBO training provides broad basis for the patent attorney profession Success rate in both NL and EQE high Strict self-imposed discipline