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Nigel Berrington

After completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Nigel worked for 37 years at the European Patent Office in Germany and the Netherlands, initially as a patent examiner and afterwards as Director Patent Grant Process, followed by roles as Director Quality Management and Director Training & Recruitment.


In addition to his operational roles, Nigel was heavily involved in promoting cooperation with the Chinese, Japanese, South Korean and United States patent offices as part of the IP5 project and was a member of the team that developed the Cooperative Patent Classification system used by over 30 patent offices (including four of the five IP5 Offices) for classifying patents and other technical documents. Nigel was also the initiator of the Non-Unity Minimum Reasoning developed for the IP5 Offices and later incorporated into the PCT Guidelines.


During his time at the EPO, he served as trainer to both EPO and national patent office examiners on unity of invention, classification and searching Japanese and Asian patent documentation. As Director Training & Recruitment, Nigel was responsible for implementing the EPO’s leadership development programme as well as for introducing major revisions of both the examiners’ and formalities officers’ training programmes.


In his role as Director Quality Management, he introduced the Integrated Quality Reports (combining quality data from multiple sources to provide decision makers with a highly effective tool to develop the Office’s strategy), which helped cement the EPO’s reputation as the leading patent office in the world when it comes to quality.

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