The European vocation of CEIPI, issuing directly from its own history, is expressed in the richly significant words "international studies".
The impact of CEIPI and also the place which was chosen for it are due to many factors. Neither the year of its inception nor the choice of Strasbourg as headquarters of the Centre are matters of chance.
We shall firstly mention the direct influence of the Council of Europe , also based in Strasbourg, which initiated the Europeanisation of patent law: the first important piece of work on uniform European law was completed in 1963 with the signature in Strasbourg of the Convention harmonising certain elements of patent law.
CEIPI's international vocation was soon actually to be mirrored in its internal organisation. The Centre comprised three sections. The French section delivered courses for French specialists in intellectual property at national and international levels. The international section devoted its programme to training in licensing agreements and was aimed at French and foreign specialists wishing to acquire the necessary knowledge of international law. The research section was devised as a structure whose function was to co-ordinate the entire range of activity on the subject.
But it is also thanks to its very close and long-standing links with the EPO that CEIPI was able to acquire the European dimension for which it is now acknowledged.
The CEIPI Administrative Council appointed R. Singer, Director of the international section, to carry out a two-fold task: provide the necessary support for preparing the classes, and the administrative basis required for their proper functioning. This work, for which the support of J.J.Burst was decisive, brought the CEIPI / EPO relationship to the attention of the outside world for the first time. Meanwhile close links were being forged with EPI, which led to the "CEIPI / EPI basic training course on European patent law" in its present form.
The target group
Today, the course participants are " students " holding a technical or scientific Bachelor's or Master's degree ( diplôme de 2° cycle ); in other words, they come from highly diverse backgrounds and so pursue equally diverse professional goals. They are the only candidates who are qualified to follow CEIPI courses, organised in the form of tutorials, and it is they who directly contact the Centre when they wish to participate in the EPO preparatory qualifying seminars. This training is unique in France and is much sought-after, with 400 participants in the basic course and over 500 in the seminars.
Supporting the students and, above all, maintaining warm and friendly relations with the tutors are the prime concerns of CEIPI. The tutors are true assets for CEIPI, whose invaluable work requires sensitive treatment; and they give of their precious time to enhance the Centre's teaching corps.
Our dear tutors' motivations are as diverse as they are themselves. They include a sense of the duty to participate in the training of future generations, the love of teaching, sharing moments with young people, which helps them keep young themselves, and the feeling of participating in something worthwhile which is more than just work but which never loses sight of the professional dimension. More and more former students wish to contribute to CEIPI's work and thus make available their knowledge and their educational energies. In this way they follow in the footsteps of their predecessors who frequently tell us how happy they are, as CEIPI graduates, to be part of a truly European enterprise.