Associate Patent Examiner

Employer Information

Intellectual property is essential for stimulating creativity and innovation. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government agency responsible for intellectual property (IP) and we maintain a clear and accessible IP system in the UK which encourages innovation and helps the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.

Patents in particular are an important tool for stimulating innovation and growth. They grant monopoly rights of up to 20 years in return for a full disclosure of an invention.

The IPO administers the UK patent system and employs around 400 science and engineering professionals to examine patents across all areas of technology. The role of the patent examiner is to grant high quality patents for inventions which are genuinely new and inventive.



Main Duties

Patent examining offers an exciting and unusual opportunity to combine scientific and technical expertise with legal skills. Successful candidates will receive comprehensive training and mentoring support to develop the legal skills required for the role. Patent Examiners combine these skills together with their technical knowledge and analytical ability to establish if an invention is new and inventive and whether, or not, the application satisfies various other legal requirements.

Successful applicants will be appointed as ‘Associate Patent Examiners’. After 2-5 years understanding the basics of the examining job and developing a broad set of professional skills you can then apply for promotion to ‘Patent Examiner’. At this grade you work independently while continuing to develop your skills and experience. After a few more years of development there is non-competitive promotion to ‘Senior Patent Examiner’. Senior Patent Examiners are subject matter experts, leaders within the Patent Examining Division and provide mentoring support to the next generation of examiners.


We are looking for people who have specific knowledge in one of the following scientific fields:

  • Chemistry,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Any type of engineering,
  • Computer Science,
  • Physics,
  • Mathematics.

We have particular skills gaps in the following specific scientific fields and anticipate offering more roles to candidates with knowledge in these fields:

  • Telecommunications Engineering,
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
  • Chemistry,
  • Medical Physics.

This can be demonstrated by holding, or being on track to hold, at least a 2:2 degree in any of the listed subjects, OR, having equivalent industrial experience in a relevant technical field (5 years or more working in a STEM role where you have had the opportunity to learn, apply and embed technical knowledge in your specialist field).

Please note: equivalent experience does not need to be demonstrated to be over a consecutive period of time. We welcome applications from people returning to STEM after a career break or those looking for a change of career.


Benefits of working with us:

  • A flexible working scheme which has no core hours and excellent opportunities for home, part-time and term-time working; 
  • A very generous pension scheme, with low employee contributions;
  • Eligibility for special and office-wide bonus payments;
  • Excellent development opportunities;
  • Opportunities for secondments, both internal and external;
  • Opportunities to join many civil-service clubs such as the Sports and Social Association, Motoring Club (CSMA), which provide numerous discounts to members


When working at Concept House, Newport the following benefits are also available:

  • A limited number of free car parking spaces are available on site;
  • Use of facilities that we share with ONS. These include an on-site gymnasium, shop, restaurant, coffee shop, cash point and hairdressers.



This role will be carried out remotely due to current government restrictions, please note however that travel to the IPO office in Newport may be required. You will be provided with the support and equipment you will need to be able to work from home. Once government restrictions are lifted this role will be based at our Newport office.



£3,030 allowance is included in the starting salary package which overall currently starts at £29,894. In addition, a further £4,040 allowance is available for posts in telecommunications, bringing the starting salary package for these posts to £33,934.


Full information including how to apply can be found on: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1712059 

If you would like to hear more about this Associate Patent Examiner recruitment, or what it’s like to work at the IPO, we will be holding an information session on Thursday 25th March 2021 at 6 p.m. Please click on this link to register for the Patent Examiner Recruitment Webinar event: link
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is an inclusive employer where diversity is respected, and differences valued. To understand more about the diversity culture of our organisation please visit our homepage on Vercida: link