How has working life changed since 1990?
I’ve just graduated and joined the IP profession. I can’t imagine what work was like before efiling, the internet and online databases. Can you explain?
The patent examiner
I joined the EPO in The Hague after I left university with a
degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. These days the
Office prefers to hire examiners with doctorates and industry
For my first three years I was just performing searches. At
that time all of the EPO's search work was done in The Hague
because it had inherited the contents of the libraries of the
Dutch Patent Office and the old Institut International des
Brevets. Once we received an application we would classify it
and then search our physical paper groups. Most applications
fell into two or three overlapping classifications. The paper
groups obviously grew over time so sometimes we would subdivide
them (a tedious but necessary task). It took me three weeks to
subdivide one paper group but once done it made searching much
easier and quicker. Often the paper documents would be
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