A patent attorney is a specialist in the field of acquiring and maintaining patent rights. In the Netherlands a patent attorney, after obtaining a technical or scientific university degree, must take a number of specialist examinations and have at least three years experience. When being sworn in an attorney also has to make a solemn affirmation to treat in confidence the cases in which he/she is involved in the course of his/her professional duties. Most Dutch patent attorneys are also European patent attorneys. Qualifications also have to be obtained for registration as European patent attorney.