Two EPO professionals make a stay at ABG IP within the Praktika Extern program

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Since 2011, ABG Intellectual Property is one of the firms that some professionals from the European Patent Office (EPO) choose within its Praktika Extern training program.

Examiners have the opportunity to make stays at intellectual property agencies in European countries to have another perspective: the point of view of those who apply. Each year, the 15 European patent agents on the ABG Intellectual Property team file nearly 300 applications from different sectors, what make us an excellent destination for EPO professionals.

In these 8 years of collaboration, ABG has received annually an examiner from different technological sectors. In addition, this year a Formalities Officer that is part of a pilot project has joined.

Beatriz Fidalgo, EPO Examiner of Travel equipment and Cosmetics

Beatriz Fidalgo began working at the EPO 6 years ago. At the beginning, she was an examiner of the Medical and Consumer Technologies area and she is currently part of the Travel equipment and Cosmetics examiner team.

This year she has been one of the hundred EPO professionals selected for living the experience of making a stay in an intellectual property agency.

For two weeks, Beatriz has known closely how we prepare and manage our clients’ European patent applications. She has also given an excellent presentation on the latest changes of the EPO guidelines in which she has also shown how they make state of the art searches and has provided some drafting tips to speed communications with examiners up.

Beatriz, why did you choose ABG as your destination within the Praktika Extern program?

I chose ABG as the first choice after asking other examiners. They told me about the firm’s reputation and, after looking at your web, it gave me a good feeling. You are very transparent about the team and I think that is a good sign.

How was your experience during your stay?

I have seen how the whole process of a patent application begins. ABG has already done an important work when it arrives to us [examiners]. First, there has been a first contact with the client in which they has explained the invention; a first report has then been sent explaining how to protect the invention by patent and they have written first drafts. When we get an application, it is “clean” and sometimes we are not aware of all that previous work.

What has caught your attention on the work being done at ABG IP?

I am surprised by the treatment given to the client. I didn’t know that it was so detailed and that every time we send a communication from the EPO, the client is sent a report explaining the content and, in addition, he is offered the different options. I thought this relationship consisted of a call, but it is a very complete report with many details. I find the customer service very detailed and very interesting.

Ramón Moreno, Formalities Officer, Opposition and Central Formalities, Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry

More than 600 formalities officers work at the EPO distributed among its Munich, Hague and Berlin offices. They are in charge of paralegal work. For the first time, thirty technicians have been included in the Praktika Extern program to “interact with all users, agents and administrative and support staff so that they can understand the issues and challenges they face in legal matters and in the context of industrial and intellectual property“.

At ABG Intellectual Property we have designed a robust and proven double control system to avoid any error and ensure that all procedures are performed in a timely manner. Our formalities team also informs our clients promptly about every step in the prosecution process and performs meticulous and highly competent management.

During five intense days, Ramón Moreno has been able to verify it in person. He has been working at the EPO for 20 years, he is part of the Opposition and Central Formalities team in Healthcare, Biotechnology and Chemistry Department and we have had the opportunity to host him at ABG IP headquarters.

Ramón has also given a superb presentation on the opposition procedure and the limitation and revocation procedure before the EPO which has attracted great interest among our agents and technicians.

Ramon, why did you choose ABG as your destination within the Praktika Extern program?

I chose ABG Intellectual Property as the first choice among the destinations offered to us and, after consulting with the head of my department, we thought it was the best option for my team. I knew the firm, its founders and some of the partners. I had also heard about its involvement in other proceedings and had seen some of its opposition applications.

How was your experience during your stay?

My experience has been fantastic. I didn’t know any other patent agency and I got a pleasant surprise. I usually get applications, but I couldn’t imagine how it worked. I think it is a spectacular job. Your team is amazing. The quality of the work and the level of the staff is excellent and there is a great team spirit.

I have received a lot of information and I have been able to help a little in what I have been asked. I have brought a couple of questions and ideas from them that I will present to the EPO. In addition, I have been able to appreciate some improvements that could be implemented.

What has caught your attention on the work being done at ABG IP?

The internal patent management system is excellent. It is a wonderful tool to comply with a high-level working methodology, in which all team members are aligned and share information. I was also surprised by the good use that ABG makes of the online services provided by the European Online Patent Office.

A Win-Win collaboration for the benefit of inventors

For ABG Intellectual Property is always an honor to open our doors and show our daily work, but, moreover, if we can contribute to the development of professionals and the EPO.

In addition, for us it is also a great opportunity when it comes to empathizing with them and getting to know their work better, something that, undoubtedly, ends up benefiting our clients.


ABG is a leading European IP firm. ABG’s more than 60 professionals combine experience, outstanding technical knowledge and deep legal expertise to be at the forefront of IP law.
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