Patent Examiner

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Patent examiners use their technical and legal knowledge to make decisions on applications from inventors for patents to protect their rights on new inventions, designs and discoveries. A patent provides an inventor with the right to stop anyone else from using, selling or making their invention.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary.

Patent examiner pay starts at £29,061 which includes a £3,030 recruitment and retentions allowance; in addition posts in telecommunications receive a further £4,040 bringing the starting salary package to £33,101 a year.

With promotion this can rise to around £36,600 a year. Senior patent examiners earn around £52,700, rising to around £56,200 plus a recruitment and retention allowance of £2,020 a year.

Salaries with the European Patent Office (EPO) are around €5,000 to €8,000 a month depending on experience.


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Getting In

Most jobs are with the UK-IPO in Newport, South Wales, with a few posts in London. Jobs are advertised on the UK-IPO website ( or the Civil Service Recruitment website (

To work with the EPO you need to be a member of one of the states of the European Patent Organisation. You can check entry requirements and advertised vacancies in the jobs section of their website (

What Does it Take?

You need to be able to:

You need to have:


Getting On

More Information

An inventor who gets a patent has a legal monopoly on making, selling or using the invention for up to 20 years. In return, the inventor pays an annual fee (after the fifth year) to the Patent Office and agrees to publish the details of the invention.



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

European Patent Office (EPO)
Twitter: @EPOjobs

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Twitter: @Skills_Justice

Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.

UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO)
Tel: 0300 300 2000
Twitter: @The_IPO

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Career Area


Career Sectors

Law (Professional)

Legal Support Services

Patent Work

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