I joined D Young & Co in September 2016 after applying to a few patent attorney firms over that summer. Through an internship at one firm I learned about basic concepts of patent law and the patent application process, which greatly assisted in my later successful application to D Young & Co.
I work in a team of a handful of qualified attorneys and other trainees. The attorneys delegate tasks to us trainees, then provide feedback once we complete the work. The structure is reminiscent of an academic research group, with each individual working independently but the rest of the group providing support.
The aspect of the job I enjoy the most is its variety. I have worked on cases related to technologies ranging from mechanical processes for producing pipettes to therapeutic antibodies. Whilst the majority of my work when I first started was prosecution (arguing why an application should be granted), I was also involved in opposition work (attacking or defending granted patents) from literally my first day. The proportion of my work relating to oppositions has grown with my experience, and I have attended multiple hearings at the European Patent Office in support of my supervisor. I have also drafted patent applications, provided freedom-to-operate opinions (assessing whether a client’s activities infringe existing patents) and conducted patentability reviews (assessing whether an invention is patentable).
Generally, my work entails synthesising technical information from patents and research papers into some form of writing. For example, to draft an opposition statement I read relevant documents published before the patent application was filed then write arguments explaining why the patent should be revoked in view of those documents. Such tasks involve hours of concentrated reading, thinking, writing and re-writing, which is challenging but rewarding.
D Young & Co provides all the training and support required to pass the qualifying exams, including paying for courses and materials, offering study leave and providing in-house tutorials.
Overall, I am pleased to be training as a patent attorney with D Young & Co. The firm strikes the right balance between excellence and a relaxed environment. The highest standards are expected at all times but everyone is approachable and willing to help. Work-life balance is valued; I have been repeatedly encouraged to speak up if my work-load is too great.
If you wish to train as a patent attorney, I highly recommend D Young & Co to you.