Derk Visser

Of Counsel, European Patent Attorney

Derk Visser

Derk has extensive experience in developing inventors’ ideas to get broad patent protection, having worked in patents since 1990. Derk is highly regarded as an authority on the European Patent Convention, having provided legal opinions on procedural and substantive issues relating to the EPC, both in pre-grant proceedings and in large patent validity cases.

He teaches European patent law all over Europe and gives seminars on the EPC in collaboration with the European Patent Office. He is the author of The Annotated European Patent Convention, the foremost commentary on European patent law, which he has updated annually since 1993 and was first published in 1994.

He joined EIP from a position as Senior Patent Attorney at Philips Electronics, prior to which he was a research scientist for 10 years. He wrote the ISO standard for the CD-ROM and the template for the DVD and Blu-ray standards. Derk studied applied and pure physics at Twente University, Oxford University and Groningen University.


  • Drafting and prosecuting patent applications. Oppositions
  • Teaching European patent law. Speaker at EPO / epi seminars. Author of the annually updated book The Annotated European Patent Convention.

Recent work

  • 26th edition of the book The Annotated European Patent Convention

Published articles

  • April 2022
    EIP Talks, Derk Visser's insights: 30 years of studying the #EuropeanPatentConvention (link)
  • March 2011
    EPI Information, Divisionals - Peering into the Mist
  • 10 December 2019
    JIPLP, There is no hope in inventive step (link)
  • 12 October 2017
    JIPLP, A hope to succeed - are the EPO Guidelines misleading? (link)

Education and qualifications

  • 1975 — 1981
    Doctor of pure physics (cum laude), University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 1973 — 1975
    Master of applied physics (cum laude), University of Enschede, The Netherlands
  • 1969 — 1973
    Bachelor of applied physics (cum laude), University of Enschede, The Netherlands

Career history

  • 2016 — present
    Of Counsel, EIP
  • 2005 — 2016
    Partner, EIP
  • 1990 — 2004
    Senior patent attorney, Intellectual Property Department of Philips Electronics in Eindhoven
  • 1987 — 1990
    System physicist, Optical Recording Development Group of Philips Electronics in Eindhoven
  • 1981 — 1987
    Research worker, Research Laboratories of Philips Electronics in Eindhoven

Awards and recognition

  • Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at Managing IP Awards 2020 (link)

Languages spoken

  • Dutch (fluent)
  • English (fluent)
  • German (less fluent)

Speaking engagements

  • 8 July 2011
    EPO & EPI seminar, EPC2DAY - Impact of the changes by EPC 2000



  • Applied physics
  • Consumer electronics
  • Photonics and optics
  • Robotics


  • Robotics