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Senior Legal Officer

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WIPO - World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-07-27

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IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING APPLICATION DEADLINE\:  please note that the deadline for applications is indicated in local time as per the time zone of the applicant’s location.


1.     Organizational Context


  1. Organizational Setting


The post is located in the Legislative, Policy and Technology Advice Section (LPTAS) of the Patent and Technology Law Division, Patents and Technology Sector. The Division is responsible for the implementation of WIPO's strategic goals concerning the balanced evolution of the international normative framework for intellectual property in the area of patents, utility models, undisclosed information/trade secrets and layout designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, and for providing legislative and policy assistance to Member States in drafting and updating their national legislation and Intellectual Property Offices Rules and Regulations in these fields of IP.


  1. Purpose Statement


The main role of the incumbent is to act as the LPTAS’ specialist advisor and to independently conduct legal research and analyses on various legal issues related to patents, utility models, technology, trade secrets and layout designs of integrated circuits, and formulate and provide legal, legislative and policy advice and assistance to Member States, and to support the initiation and implementation of strategies in new areas of the law related to these fields.


  1. Reporting Lines


The incumbent works under the supervision of the Head of the Legislative, Policy and Technology Advice Section.



2.      Duties and Responsibilities


The incumbent will perform the following principal duties\:


a.   Prepare comments on, and provide legal opinions and advice to Member States on legal texts, draft bills, draft rules and regulations and other documents by interested countries on patents, utility models, trade secrets, and integrated circuits or other areas of the law as requested.


b.   Undertake fundamental research, and analyze the needs of countries, or groups of countries, on patents, utility models, trade secrets, and integrated circuits or other areas of the law as requested.


c.   Develop and lead studies, as requested, in strategies in new areas of the law related to patents, utility models, trade secrets and integrated circuits.


d.   Draft and provide input to guides, legal opinions, publication and other documents pertaining to the functions and activities of the work unit.


e.   Supervise more junior staff, as requested, in producing high quality and timely legislative and policy advice for Member States, particularly for larger, more complex intellectual property projects.


f.    Maintain contacts with authorities of countries or groups of countries in all regions as well as with the United Nations agencies and other partner institutions.


g.   Coordinate activity, as appropriate, with other WIPO Sectors involved in the activity of the work unit.


h.   Coordinate and participate in internal and external training and awareness-raising activities, seminars and workshops; this includes organizing those meetings and delivering training and presentations.


i.    Coordinate and participate in conferences and meetings organized by Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations; this includes provision of legislative and policy advice and assistance with respect to the law of patents, utility models, undisclosed information/trade secrets and layout designs (topographies) of integrated circuits.


j.    Perform other related duties as required.



3.      Requirements


Education (Essential)

Advanced university degree in law. A first-level university degree in law or related disciplines, plus two years of relevant experience in addition to the years of experience requested below may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Education (Desirable)

Specialization in intellectual property law.


Experience (Essential)

At least seven years of relevant professional legal experience including in the field of intellectual property in the public or private sector, with specific experience in the field of patents and technology.


Experience with legal research projects in the field of patent and technology law.


Experience (Desirable)

Relevant professional experience at the international level.


Relevant professional experience in the fields of utility models, undisclosed information/trade secrets and layout designs (topographies) of integrated circuits.


Experience in patent prosecution.


Language (Essential)

Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English.


Language (Desirable)

Knowledge of other official UN languages.


Job Related Competencies (Essential)

Ability to analyze legal questions and draft legal texts.


Sound knowledge of applicable legal principles of industrial property law.


Ability to conduct research independently and present results in a clear and logical form.


Excellent time management and work organization skills.


Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to maintain effective partnerships and working relations in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


Competent user of Microsoft Office applications (including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) and the internet, and the ability to adapt quickly to new software.



4.      Organizational Competencies


  1. Communicating effectively.
  2. Showing team spirit.
  3. Demonstrating integrity.
  4. Valuing diversity.
  5. Producing results.
  6. Showing service orientation.
  7. Seeing the big picture.
  8. Seeking change and innovation.
  9. Developing yourself and others.



5.      Information


Mobility\:  WIPO staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Director General and may be assigned to any activities, office or duty station of the Organization.  Accordingly, the selected candidate may be required to move from time to time to new functions and/or to another duty station.


Annual salary\:

Total annual salary consists of a net annual salary (net of taxes and before medical insurance and pension fund deductions) in US dollars and a post adjustment.  Please note that this estimate is for information only.  The post adjustment multiplier (cost of living allowance) is variable and subject to change (increase or decrease) without notice.  The figures quoted below are based on the June 2021 rate of 87.3%





Annual salary



Post adjustment



Total Salary



Currency USD





Salaries and allowances are paid in Swiss francs at the official rate of exchange of the United Nations.


Please refer to WIPO’s Staff Regulation and Rules for detailed information concerning salaries, benefits and allowances.


Additional Information


Initial period of one year, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance.  No fixed-term appointment or any extension hereof shall carry with it any expectancy of, nor imply any right to, (further) extensions or conversion to a permanent appointment.


This vacancy announcement may be used to fill other posts at the same grade with similar functions in accordance with Staff Rule 4.9.5.


Applications from qualified women as well as from qualified nationals of unrepresented Member States of WIPO and underrepresented geographical regions are encouraged. Please click on the following links for the list of unrepresented Member States and the list of underrepresented regions and the WIPO Member States in these regions.


The Organization reserves the right to make an appointment at a grade lower than that advertised.




By completing an application, candidates understand that any willful misrepresentation made on this web site, or on any other documents submitted to WIPO during the application, may result in disqualification from the recruitment process, or termination of employment with WIPO at a later date, if that employment resulted from such willful misrepresentations.


In the event that your candidature is shortlisted, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of an identification and of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WIPO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link\: http\:// Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.


Additional testing/interviewing may be used as a form of screening.  Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory professional references.


Additional background checks may be required.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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