Alfred Spigarelli is known as one of the best experts of the European patent system. He has inspired and implemented several major procedural and legal changes in the framework of the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Alfred graduated in electromechanical engineering from the “École Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Metz” in 1985 and in IP law from the “Centre d’Étude International de la Propriété Intellectuelle” in 1995 before passing the European Qualifying examination in 1996.
Alfred started his career in industrial property as a patent engineer in the industry in the field of agricultural machinery. In 1987, he joined the European Patent Office in The Hague as a patent examiner. In 1990, he transferred to Munich, where he worked his way up to the position of chairman in opposition division and treated numerous opposition cases mostly concluded in oral proceedings. In parallel, he was involved in advanced training for examiners and patent attorneys, in the marking Committee of the European Qualifying Examination and he acted as a patent practice adviser for the EPO senior management, in particular in the PCT area. In the early 2000s, he was one of the EPO representatives actively involved in the PCT reform with WIPO and the other International Authorities. In 2004, he was appointed director in The Hague, where he managed around 30 examiners in the field of applied physic and semiconductor technology.
In 2008, Alfred was appointed director of the Patent Procedures Management Department. As such, he was among other things responsible for updating the EPO Guidelines, and for initiating and implementing legal changes. In 2016, he joined the EPO quality department where he was appointed Principal Director Quality Management ad interim in 2017. At this position, he was responsible for the EPO quality management system and he achieved the EPO recertification under the ISO 9001 standards without any non-compliance.
In 2018, Alfred left the EPO to create his own firm. In parallel, he acted as an Of Counsel for one of the largest patent law firms in France and also organized training and refresher courses for IP practitioners inside and outside Europe. In 2020, the French Intellectual Property Office (INPI) hired him for contributing to the drafting of the patent examiner’s guidelines for the newly introduced opposition procedure, which makes him one of the early experts in this field.
Alfred advises an international clientele made of large and small entities in all aspects of patent law. He operates mainly in the technical fields of electrical and mechanical engineering and applied physic. He is fluent in English, French, German and Italian. Thanks to his unique insight into the PCT and European patent systems, Alfred develops and implements innovative and cost-effective business models for strengthening the global patent protection required nowadays by the industry.