German patent attorneys are organized into a public statutory body, having as its mission the ongoing development of the profession and of commercial rights protection: the "Patentanwaltskammer" (chartered institute of patent attorneys).
One of many important tasks carried out by the Patentanwaltskammer is to organize education for patent attorney assistants (for high-level IP support), who provide essential backup for patent attorneys. The two-stranded training is completed over two, or a maximum of three years, both in-house with the patent attorney as well as at the professional training college. Dedicated courses providing this training have been set up in Bremen und Munich. Custom-made lessons are in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Berlin.
During a recent visit to Spain, the former Arbeitsministerin (German federal minister for employment) Ursula von der Leyen presented this two-stranded training model as being unique in Europe.
With a youth unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, Germany is doing comparatively well. This is to some degree down to the two-stranded system of college and work-based training. It is seen as the key to success.
During her visit to Spain, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) promised to help Spain create a professional training system of this type based on the German model. This is a step in the right direction.
But, let us not forget that something like this can't be conjured up overnight.
Written and oral final examinations and intermediate examinations take place annually before the examination board organised by the "Patentanwaltskammer". Each examination board consists of six members with two teachers, two representatives of the employers (patent attorneys), and two representatives of the employees.
Mr Frank Reimund Leonhard is a training advisor and head of the examination board in Munich.
Last updated 13 May 2014