The Postgraduate Program in Intellectual Property at the ETH Zürich: A Modern Educational Program for Graduates in Science or Technology Wishing to Start a Career as Patent Specialists


  • Herbert Laederach
  • Marianne Lampert



Education, Intellectual property, Patents, Postgraduate program


Since October 1996 the ETH Zürich has offered a Postgraduate Program in Intellectual Property (NDS). The one-year study program is primarily intended for university graduates in science or technology from Switzerland and abroad. It aims to equip its participants with a sound knowledge in intellectual property rights which enables them to obtain a position in the patent, licensing or trademark department of a large industrial concern or a specialist legal office. The NDS is a fulltime program with a wide range of courses given by over one hundred specialists from all around the world. Interactive didactic methods and multimedia are integrated in the teaching. In order to ensure the quality of the program, students and guest lecturers are subject to continuous reciprocal evaluations.Managed like a small business, the NDS benefits from its independent status at the ETH. Thus, each spring, road shows for potential students are held at several technical universities in Switzerland and abroad. On the other hand, the NDS is financed by the ETH Zürich and is not self-supporting; however, in order to increase outside income, tuition costs have recently been raised from SFr. 5 100 to SFr. 11 100. The ETH Zürich awards a certificate to participants who have successfully completed the examinations, which permits them to use the title 'Dipl. NDS ETHZ für Geistiges Eigentum'. This title is recognized by the European Patent Office and confers exemption from six months of the practice period required for admission to the examination for European Patent Attorneys (reducing the required time to 2½ years).






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