In offices which perform a substantive examination, a patent examiner verifies if the invention described in a patent application respects the patentability requirements and decides whether to grant a patent or not. Advanced scientific and technological competences and knowledge enable them to work at the forefront of technology and to study the state of art thereof.
Trademark examiners carry out a substantive analysis of trademark applications in order to establish whether the product or service trademark applied for meets all the conditions to benefit from trademark protection.
“My work allows me to take an early look at a brand. Through thorough research and creative thinking, I am able to decide on its distinctiveness.”
François Veneri, Trademark examiner
Intellectual Property (IP) lawyers provide advice on trademarks, patents, designs, copyright and other legal matters (e.g. consumer regulations, e-commerce, data protection, etc). Their tasks usually depend on their position and qualification.
“Orienting and defending the interests of IP holders is exciting in many ways. To achieve this, one must be eager to know, take an interest in technological societal developments and show a high professional rigour.”
Katia Manhaeve, Avocat à la Cour
A patent attorney’s mission consists of providing advice to companies and individuals on patent matters. The representation of patent applicants and patent holders before national intellectual property offices and the European Patent Office (EPO) is also part of their activities.
“An ability to conceptualise inventions, translate key concepts into writing, and a interest in law caracterise this profession!”
Didier Lecomte, European Patent and Trademark Attorney
Trademark attorneys assist in the protection of distinctive signs and aesthetic creations through trademarks and designs respectively, in compliance with the legal framework.
“Open-mindeness, intellectual curiosity and a strong interest in intellectual property law will make a good lawyer, a good attorney!”
Olivier Laidebeur, European Trademark Attorney
Patent portfolios which form an integral part of a company’s assets have to be managed adequately. Patent managers draft and file the patent applications with the competent authorities and manage their exploitation (e.g. through licensing contracts).
“In industry, I have two roles: to verify whether the company is free to exploit an invention and to ensure the protection of the inventions by exclusive rights which will make it possible to create value.”
Bernd Kutsch, European Patent Attorney
Technology Transfer Officers (TTOs) plan and manage the exploitation of an organisation’s intangible creations portfolio in close collaboration with researchers. Their main task consists of ensuring the transfer of the inventions created by private and public research centres for the purposes of commercial exploitation.
“The Technology Transfer Professional analyses and evaluates the technical and commercial aspects of inventions, takes the necessary steps to protect them, supports technological development, identifies potential licencees and carries out negociations for the transfer of the most promising technologies.”
Sigmar Lampe, Counsel IP and Licensing