Systematic approach to patent search


Start: 26.05.2014
End: 01.08.2014


course, online

Organised by

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This distance learning course has been designed for patent examiners at national offices. Participants will learn the basics of identifying the relevant parts of a patent application for search, they will learn how to build up an appropriate search strategy and coming to terms with the results received. Respective tool training will not form part of this course, since this is included in other training courses offered by the European Patent Academy. Altogether seven e-learning modules will be accompanied by virtual classroom sessions to allow for direct interaction with expert tutors from the European Patent Office.

The training will be delivered in three phases at the end of which participants will have to take a test. Certificates will only be issued on successful completion of all three tests (at a passing rate of 70%).

Target groups

Staff of the national patent offices of EPO member states

Level of expertise

Entry level


Online training


On completion of the seminar participants will 

• be able prepare a search, having analysed the application
• be able to carry out the search applying the appropriate strategy
• be able to evaluate search results and, if necessary, refine the search
• know when to stop searching


During this distance learning course, participants will deal with:

• reading a patent application, focusing on claims, description, embodiments
• establishing a search table
• analysing the documents retrieved, collating results
• practical examples and assignments

NB: practical work will be carried out by means of the search tools available to the individual participant.


Basic knowledge of patent search. Experience in patent search would be an advantage.
Very good command of English, both orally and in writing.

Technical requirements:
In order to attend the on-line course participants need a computer with an internet browser and a high-speed broadband internet connection. For the virtual classrooms, the EPO uses Cisco WebEX, so initially some WebEX software will be installed on your computer. Security settings on local Firewalls need to be checked. For more information please see the "VC guidelines for participants" under "Downloads". In order to make full use of the VC sessions, we recommend to use headsets.

Seminar outline

Estimated working time:

Venue details

The on-line course will be hosted on the Internet and accessible 7/24 from 26 May 2014 on. The virtual classroom (VC) sessions are scheduled as below (change of dates might occur), starting each at 14:00 h CEST:

VC (1): 27.05.2014
VC (2): 11.06.2014
VC (3): 24.06.2014
VC (4): 03.07.2014
VC (5): 16.07.2014


European Patent Academy
European Patent Office
Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1
80469 Munich
Tel. +49-89-2399-5256
Fax +49-89-2399-5449

Max. number of participants




Registration deadline

Deadline for registration is over.