AA Thornton welcomes Formalities Officer from the EPOs placement programme ‘Praktika Extern’

AA Thornton welcomes Formalities Officer from the EPOs placement programme ‘Praktika Extern’

We were delighted to welcome Kamila Miklos, a Formalities Officer from the European Patent Office (EPO) Hague office to our office this week as part of our ongoing support of the EPOs placement programme ‘Praktika Extern’. In previous years we have hosted EPO examiners, and are excited to be one of the first firms to participate in the extended programme for Formalities Officers.

The programme provides an opportunity for EPO Formalities Officers to spend time with a host firm and this year we were very pleased to welcome Kamila Miklos into our Records and Secretarial Departments.

AA Thornton and EPO

Kamila, pictured far left with the Trade Mark Secretaries.


More than 600 formalities officers work at the EPO throughout its Munich, Hague and Berlin offices. 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“.

The programme gives Formalities Officers and hosting firms, such as ourselves, the opportunity to interact and exchange knowledge from their respective roles, and to consequently foster a greater understanding between both parties which will undoubtedly benefit our clients.


An interview with Kamila…

Kamila Miklos began working at the EPO in 2005 in the Front-End department, later she moved to the Formalities Unit and worked as a Formalities Officer in the Search Authority handling PCT applications, then became a Formalities Offer for the Examination and Chapter II procedures. During that time Kamila was also appointed CASE (Conformity Assurance for Search and Examination) Formalities Officer contact person for The Hague, coordinating CASE checks performed in 12 SIS Units at The Hague and supporting the Munich site contact person when needed.

Kamila took on additional tasks, undertaking training in Client Data Registration tasks, first in Part I (changes concerning representation data), secondly in Part II (changes concerning Applicant data). As a Formalities Officer expert in Client Data Registration, Kamila passed the certification as an official EPO coach in Client Data Registration tasks. Since the 2018 EPO reorganisation Kamila has been working in the Central Formalities Team.

This week, Kamila has worked closely with our formalities staff to see how we prepare and manage our clients’ European patent applications. She also gave us a presentation on Formalities Officers Roles and Responsibilities and Examples of best practice with respect to formal requirements.


What did you get up to during your stay?

The Program Praktika External provided me with an opportunity to interact with the customers with whom I am dealing in my daily work. I have gained an advanced insight and deeper knowledge by visiting various departments. In every department I felt very welcome. Seeing their daily work routine helped me to understand the work from the customer’s perspective. I was very happy to give 2 presentations and answered questions which were raised during that time

 What will you take away from your time at AAT?

I will bring back with me lots of positives. Firstly, I will promote a fully electronic way of work opposed to EPO electronic and paper practice (e.g. even faxes are arriving electronically in pdf format). Secondly, the idea of standard letters retrieved by simple command.


Claire Pitman, Head of IP Operations commented on the programme:

“It is always a pleasure welcoming EPO Examiners to our firm. The Praktika Extern programme offers a rare opportunity for Examiners and attorneys to exchange ideas and learn more about the issues of importance in their daily work. This year, we have been given the opportunity to welcome an EPO Formalities Officer and we were delighted to provide Kamila with some experience of formalities from the view of private practice. By understanding how we can work together more effectively we are able to enhance our proactive and client-focused approach to ensure we continue to provide our clients with a personalised and superior service.

We thank Kamila for her contributions and enthusiasm during her stay with us, and we look forward to our ongoing involvement with the Praktika Extern programme.”

For more information on work placements, or our current career vacancies, please visit our careers page.

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