• Name: James Kirsch
  • Job Title: Technical assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: Masters in Engineering Science
  • Areas of Specialism: Engineering - Other

I studied Engineering Science at university which allowed me to avoid specialising into a particular narrow field. I have always enjoyed variety instead of focusing on one discipline, be that hobbies or work.

I was aware of patents as a potential career that might suit my desire for variety thanks to exposure at careers events as well as knowing various people already in the field. During my penultimate year at university, I dipped my toes in, as it were, with a number of micro-internships at a variety of different firms which only confirmed that this was a career I would enjoy.

What has been your experience starting at Cleveland Scott York?

I joined Cleveland Scott York in September 2020 under what can only be described as abnormal circumstances. I started by completing a full time Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary University before starting in the office in February the following year. Despite the obvious challenges of starting a new job in a pandemic, everyone at Cleveland Scott York was very welcoming. As soon as I started “in the office” I was completing real work for real clients. I worked on a wide range of cases in many different technical fields right from the offset.

What do you actually do as a patent attorney?

My work is mainly based on prosecuting patent applications up to and including grant. This involves talking to clients about their inventions, drafting applications and responding to examination reports among other things. Whilst I have not been involved in any opposition proceedings yet, it is an area I am looking forward to taking on in the future.

I mainly work for two different partners, giving me a great opportunity to learn different approaches and styles. This also allows me to work with a broader client base.

Outside of client based work, I am also preparing for UK and European final exams after passing the European preliminary exam in March 2023.

Any advice?

If you are the sort of person that enjoys seeing and working with a range of cutting-edge technologies and can get your head around how they work quickly then a career in patents may well be for you. I can definitely recommend getting work experience, both to try your hand at the job and bolster your application.

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