• Name: Heather Abulafia
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Leeds
  • University: -Non UK-
  • Degree: Biomedical Engineering
  • Areas of Specialism: Technology

My career path is a little unusual since I started out my career in another country as a Patent Examiner before making the decision to move to the UK and to a career as a Patent Attorney. As I had experience with patents, I reached out to a recruiter who put me in touch with HGF who were recruiting at the time.

Having studied biomedical engineering at university and learning about developments in a variety of medical device and engineering areas, I wanted to continue to work at the forefront of innovation and technology, so I applied for a role as a Patent Examiner when I graduated from university. While working as a Patent Examiner I became interested in how patent strategies were leveraged by businesses throughout their product lifecycles, so I began to study a Masters in Intellectual Property and ultimately decided to work as a Patent Attorney when I moved overseas.

I have had an opportunity to work on a large variety of work in the last year and half with HGF, including prosecuting patents and drafting new patent applications, as well as speaking with clients about their ideas and about freedom to operate. I’ve worked with clients in a variety of technology fields and have worked with both start-up and large multinational clients.

I have regular catch-ups with my supervisor in Leeds and I can just as easily video call my colleagues in Newcastle, York, London or Glasgow, just to name a few, to discuss work or training. My colleagues in other offices have been so willing to help with my training and share their expertise and this has given me an opportunity to be exposed to a variety of work. HGF also has a large network of trainees who are happy to chat and discuss their training advice which has given me confidence in my training so far.

This month, I completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property which is the first step towards becoming a qualified Patent Attorney. I plan to sit one UK Finals exam later this year and to sit the pre-examination for the European Qualifying Exams early next year. I still have a lot of exams ahead of me so my plan is to take it one step at a time and continue build upon my skills on-the-job.

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