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Innovation and Intellectual Property Management (IIPM) Laboratory

Pan-European SEAL Programme for Young Professionals

In 2023, the Department of Engineering (together with the University's Faculty of Law) singed an MoU to join the EPO-EUIPO SEAL programme. This partnership opens up opportunities for talented graduates from the University as they can apply to this exclusive programme open only to graduates from selected member universities across Europe.


What is the EPO SEAL Programme?

The EPO SEAL programme is an excellent opportunity for graduates to gain valuable on-the-job experience within the international sphere of the European Patent Office (EPO), in charge of patents including Europe's Unitary patent system, and the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in charge of all other IP rights. The programme offers unique and immersive insights into the operations of two international organizations, fostering a multicultural environment that enriches your professional development. More information about the programme is available on the EPO and EUIPO websites. 


Why Choose the EPO SEAL Programme?

By participating in the EPO SEAL programme, graduates from the Department will have the chance to:

  • Work alongside seasoned professionals at the EPO or EUIPO.
  • Gain exposure to the dynamic and diverse community of international staff with diverse backgrounds from many disciplines and countries.
  • Learn about the complexities of IP rights systems on a global scale.
  • Develop essential skills for a successful career in the field of intellectual property.
  • Benefit from generous remuneration and social security benefits. 

As an Engineer, why would I want to work at the EPO or EUIPO?

Technical expertise is needed for becoming a patent examiner at the EPO, but the SEAL programme is not only for graduates with an interest in Intellectual Property. Both offices are international organisations offering a large variety of positions within a diverse work force. As equal opportunity employers the offices are committed to creating inclusive environments for all employees.



Candidates need to be nationals of an EPO member state (note that this is different to and broader than the EU member states), need to possess excellent language skills in at least one of the official languages (English, French, German), have a BA degree or higher (e.g. Master or PhD). No professional experience is required. 


How to apply?

All candidates need to be nominated by the Department. Do not apply directly! If you are interested in applying, please contact the Department's SEAL coordinator as early as possible. 

Typically, the application systems open in February, usually closing mid March for a start in September the same year. 


Further details about the programme are available here:




Whether you are considering to apply or not, both offices offer a number of training courses, which can be accessed via the following webpages:

EUIPO Learning Portal:

EPO's online training:

To support teaching, the EPO offers an IP Teaching Kit, which is available here:


SEAL Coordinator for the Department of Engineering 

Professor Frank Tietze ( 


News & Blog articles

Congratulations to Max

8 February 2024

And here comes another soon-to-be IIPM alumni. Congratulations to Maximilian Elsen, who successfully completed his viva on Friday, 26th January. In his research he The title of his PhD thesis is "Inventions in Climate Technologies - A Patent Analysis". His research addresses the complexities involved in identifying and...

First IIPM alumni gathering

8 February 2024

Just in time before Christmas, on 12 December 2023 the IIPM Lab hosted its first ever hybrid alumni gathering. It was a great pleasure to see so many former postdocs, PhD students and visitors again and hear their updates on what they are currently doing and where they work. It was very nice to see that several have...

Welcome to the team

8 February 2024

A very warm welcome to Melanie Martini, who joins us from the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis INT . Melanie is also a PhD student at RWTH Aachen. Her research focuses on patent data usage for trend analysis. While being in Cambridge we are working together on a project using patent data to identify...