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Manager Intellectual Property Operations

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Date: May 15, 2021

Location: Amsterdam, NL

Company: AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We're experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands - including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon - is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are active in over 150 countries and employ around 34,500 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect.

Job Purpose


The Intellectual Property (IP) department is responsible for providing pro-active IP services to all AkzoNobel’s businesses, to support growth and innovation, creating sustainable competitive advantage. The IP Function manages large IP portfolio’s (about 3000 patent rights and 20,000 Trade Mark rights). Filing, prosecuting and maintaining these rights in front of IP offices in many countries worldwide, requires processes involving the coordination of many communications back and forth between attorneys, business, functions, the IP support staff and external local IP law firms operating under numerous legal systems, all with their own specific legal requirements and time lines. 

The Manager IP Operations manages the whole administrative IP support function with its complex processes and specific database systems. The IP operations function is responsible for coordinating all communications, and docketing and tracking the due dates and administrative requirements IP Counsels have to comply with when managing AkzoNobel’s IP portfolios. 

The role requires a high level of very specific experience, accuracy and sense of responsibility; one error in any of the data recorded may result in the loss of an IP right that may represent substantial business value.


Key Accountabilities


  • Supports Director IP by defining effective and efficient administrative IP procedures in support of IP processes and maintaining a reliable and state of the art IP Management System (IPMS).
  • Oversees and guards the administrative IP procedures of the entire global IP Department of AkzoNobel, which includes: 
    • Maintenance of a secure and reliable in-house IP matter management system (IPMS). 
    • Set up and Maintenance of efficient IP work-flows between different disciplines involved in IP processes, i.e. IP Counsels, IP operations, business representatives (inventors, IP decision makers) and external IP agents/ IP offices
    • Ensure uniform and reliable docketing and efficient document management.
    • Provide for Process Documentation that is clear and accessible (written procedures and work instructions).
    • Create and maintain IP reporting tools (for IP-MT, attorneys and legal/business functions)
    • Assist in managing IP budget: Set up monitoring/reporting tools for IP cost tracking.
    • Understand requests for IP reports and compile reports and quarterly metrics
  • Manages the administrative IP support staff: Defines organization and roles, manages talent and drives maximum performance of the staff in the main IP office (Amsterdam); 6-9 direct reports, including e.g. IP Formalities officers, paralegals and administrative assistants. Aligns with Director IP and support staff in satellite offices (in US and China) to ensure global adherence to defined IP procedures.
  • Oversees formalities work with regards to IP acquisitions and divestments
  • Creates and oversees training programs on IP tools and procedures (for IP professionals and support staff), including onboarding/ training for new hires.
  • Manages and advises the Director IP on the budget for IP Operations.
  • Aligns with Legal Operations on processes and systems (e.g. Doc. Management, Invoice Handling, Vendor Management, and functional support e.g. IT, Finance, Project Management, etc.) Where appropriate, aligns directly with other functions within AkzoNobel.
  • Manages external relationships with IP service providers such as outside counsel, IPMS vendors, annuity system providers, regional patent office (EPO), in coordination with Legal Operations. 
  • Maintains up to date knowledge on (changes in) patent laws and national/regional IP office practices.
  • Stays abreast with development on IPMS and other administrative IP tools and services (e.g. through of practice groups and professional organizations).




  • Certified Patent Officer 
  • Preferably higher professional level of education (vocational, Bachelor), or thinking at that level
  • 10+years experience as a high level IP support staff member of an in-house IP Function of a multinational with offices in various jurisdictions (incl. EP, US)
  • Familiar with specifics of (internal) IP processes and procedural requirements of IP Offices worldwide)
  • Knowledgeable on administrative procedures for Patents, Trade Marks and domain names
  • Experience managing IP administrative staff, preferably skilled at change management
  • Basic Project Management and Business Process Management skills (on devising and documenting IP processes)


Required Skills


  • Ability to manage supervise and motivate others (administrative staff as well as IP professionals)
  • Pragmatic, problem solving attitude: Takes on challenges in a positive and proactive manner
  • Strong interpersonal skills; a team player able to establish and build partnerships at all levels 
  • Excellent communication skills: Adapts to the audience: Ability to communicate effectively across functions and hierarchical levels 
  • Stress resistance: ability to work efficiently, and act calm and with confidence under pressure, even when challenged. 
  • Strong sense of responsibility: recognizes impact of own activities; carefully weighs advices and decisions within own area of responsibility; manages expectations well. 
  • Self-motivated; able to act independently and with confidence, with minimal supervision 
  • Flexible and open-minded; ability to adjust to changing circumstances 
  • Willingness to constantly improve knowledge and skills
  • Fluent in English, spoken and written


Application details


We welcome your online application, reference 10143. Please note that applications sent by mail will not be considered. If you have any question, please feel free to contact our Talent Resourcing Partner Jeroen Sevenstern phone +31 (0)6 51706499.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or disability.

Requisition ID: 10143