From Science to Patent Law

IP Brochure

Everything you have always wanted to know about this profession

Due to the close cooperation between patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG has been an umbrella of legal and technical competence since its foundation.

Since its foundation in 1977 in Munich, which is also the seat of the European Patent Office, the German Patent and Trademark Office and the German Federal Patent Court, our firm has had a first-class reputation when it comes to the protection of intellectual property. One particular focus area is patent and trademark litigations. 

Areas of law/Fields of activity

  • Patent Infringement
  • Oppositions and Nullity
  • Licensing & Technology Transfer
  • Rei Vindicatio
  • Employee Inventions
  • Unfair Competition law
  • Patent Prosecution
  • Trademark law
  • Design law
  • Copyright law
  • Domain Name law
  • Antitrust law
  • Patent Valuation
  • Due Diligence

Our attorneys advise on all aspects of intellectual property. We represent German and international companies in applying for intellectual property rights as well as in conducting litigations in all areas of intellectual property law.

Today, 30 partners, approximately 70 attorneys and over 240 employees in four European locations (Munich, Düsseldorf, Paris and Barcelona advise a high-level group of clients consisting of both German and international companies as well as medium-sized companies or individual inventors.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG considers itself to be a first-class service provider, both when it comes to filing clients’ patents, trademarks and designs as well as helping them assert themselves towards competitors in order to create and ensure global market positions. Here at BARDEHLE PAGENBERG, we are dedicated to protecting intellectual property and combating counterfeiting and product piracy.

The following questionnaire will give a first overview of the profession of a patent attorney.

When it comes to protecting intellectual property and thus the fight against counterfeiting innovative ideas, as a patent attorney, you can prove your competence at the interface between technology and law.

2.1 Why should I become a patent attorney?

Because making this decision entails a special kind of professional challenge: You can contribute your technical knowledge and gain great insight into the newest applications in a wide variety of technical fields:

Technical fields

  • Telecommunications
  • Software, IT & Computer Technology
  • Sports
  • Medical Technology
  • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemistry, Pharmacy & Life Sciences
  • Physics
  • Semiconductor Technology
  • Food
  • Fashion

The opportunity to expand your perspective along with appealing income opportunities create a solid alternative to an occupation in industry or science.

2.2 Where can patent attorneys represent their clients?

Patent attorneys have various and comprehensive powers of representation. They are competent to represent their clients in all matters of intellectual property in Germany. They do not only present arguments as to whether an invention, a trademark or a design is eligible for protection before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, the German Federal Patent Court or, in certain cases, even before the German Federal Court of Justice; in a team with attorneys-at-law, they also ensure that German (Higher) Regional Courts and the Federal Court of Justice correctly decide whether an intellectual property right is infringed. As soon as you are authorized to represent clients as a patent attorney, you are also allowed to represent clients in trademark and design matters on a European level, namely before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The European Patent Office is competent for European patents. However, a separate qualifying examination has to be passed. It consists of a pre-examination and a main examination which candidates can take for the first time two and three years, respectively, after having started to train as a patent attorney. 

2.3 Which technical requirements do I need to meet to become a patent attorney?

Thanks to their technical competence, patent attorneys are able to apprehend complex technological matters. The technical competence is comprised of scientific/technical studies and one year of a practical technical occupation. The latter can be demonstrated by full-time employment in industry or scientific work at the technical chair of a university (e.g. as research assistant during a doctorate).

2.4 Do I need a law degree to be a patent attorney?

No! Training “on the job” at a patent law firm for two and a half years accompanied by several months of training at the German Patent and Trademark Office and at the German Federal Patent Court in Munich – in addition to your excellent university degree – will prepare you for a career at the interface between technology and law. You will acquire the necessary legal knowledge thanks to an accompanying distance-learning course on general law at the distance-learning university FernUni Hagen.

2.5 What does BARDEHLE PAGENBERG offer parallel to my studies?

A broad selection of possibilities: Regular information sessions at our firm regarding the profession of a patent attorney, participation in alumni events as well as various events such as “open house days” for interested students or graduates, or multi-week internships, as well as a two-year seminar program, the “BARDEHLE PAGENBERG IP Academy" (in-person or online events). The lectures of the IP Academy prepare you for the German final examination and the European Qualifying Examination at the European Patent Office.

2.6 What skills are required in addition to professional competence?

Being skilled in formulating technically sophisticated facts and circumstances in German and English. The ability to understand highly complex technical facts and circumstances that follow from prototypes, technical drawings or descriptions, for example, and being able to explain them in layperson’s terms. 
Working with precision and accuracy without losing any speed. Being ready for and finding joy in going beyond the technical horizon and expanding your own expertise to fields close to your own or to entirely new fields.

2.7 Will I become a paper tiger in the jungle of sections and clauses?

On the contrary: The direct link to technology is all in a patent attorney’s daily work. You will learn about the newest high-tech developments first-hand, often years before the patented technology actually results in marketable products. Your task is to effectively protect innovative ideas. The challenge when doing so is to be able to quickly grasp and understand brand new inventions from a plurality of technical fields.

2.8 Will I be in contact with international research and development?

From the very beginning you will have the opportunity to communicate with clients active in research and the industry in the USA, Asia and Europe. There is barely another field in which the challenges of globalization are as tangible as in the field of protecting intellectual property. Join us in the fight against patent infringers, product pirates and reverse engineering!

2.9 Is there good earning potential and how are my promotion prospects?

Excellent! A successful career as a patent attorney is more than just a lucrative job. 

In a firm, you yourself can become an entrepreneur in a safe and sustainable branch of industry. You have considerable influence on the strategic direction of the entire company in the industry.

2.10 How does the application process work?

It could not be simpler: Take a look at our website, read about our technical and legal focus areas and check our current vacancies. Your subsequent application is bound to convince us that we simply must meet you. 

Both we and you will then have the opportunity to introduce ourselves and clarify further details in a personal interview. It is very important to us that the “chemistry” is right and we will then make a decision in a very timely manner.

2.11 Where can I find further information?

The German Chamber of Patent Attorneys is competent regarding the general concerns of German patent attorneys ( The decision about the admission to practice as a patent attorney is made by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office ( Details of the training are laid down in the German patent attorney regulations (Patentanwaltsordnung; PAO – German Version: and the German regulations on the training of and examination for patent attorneys (Patentanwaltsausbildungs- und Prüfungsverordnung, PatAnwAPrV – German version: For instance, the entry requirements for the training as a patent attorney are stipulated in Secs. 5 through 7 PAO, while Secs. 1 through 4 PatAnwAPrV regulate formal aspects of the admission to the training.

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