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  • Name: Katherine Munro
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: York
  • University: Sheffield
  • Degree: Physics

I came across the patent profession after completing my degree. I knew I wanted to stay in the scientific field but wanted to avoid research and academia. After detailed research into what being a patent attorney entailed, the combination of science, law and business greatly appealed to me. Training as a patent attorney provides stimulating intellectual challenges but also requires a commercial mind set. I applied to HGF as they came across as a friendly yet professional firm. During my interviews this also came across strongly and I was delighted to accept when offered the job.

The training support provided at HGF is a definite bonus; while you mainly train on-the-job, HGF provide in-house tutorials to help with exam preparation and further training. I also have a weekly tutorial, along with another trainee, with my supervising partner where I can discuss areas I’m currently unsure about and learn some of the more detailed aspects to patent law.

At first working on cases can be a little intimidating but there is always someone who is willing to help if you need, and you’re not expected to be perfect at the start! I also routinely discuss how I can improve my work with my supervising partner. There is a real team attitude at HGF which provides a supportive working environment. As a trainee patent attorney no day is quite the same, I can go from responding to a communication from the European Patent Office about a medical device to drafting an application for the oil and gas industry for UK filing. The variation of inventions, clients and tasks is a great part of the job.

There is a great social side, from an annual quiz to a summer BBQ and office get togethers. Every year HGF also holds a CPD conference for all attorneys where a variety of seminars are given by internal and external speakers about recent and upcoming changes in IP law; even the newest of trainees are invited to these conferences and it is a great opportunity to further develop your professional knowledge.

This is a rewarding and fascinating career path constantly offering new challenges. HGF as a firm is welcoming and supportive and this results a very positive working environment in which to learn and grow as a patent attorney.

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