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  • Name: Zoe Goodrum
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: York
  • University: Durham
  • Degree: Physics

After completing my degree I happened to come across the patent profession whilst searching for science related jobs. At the time I had no idea what being a patent attorney involved but after some research I was sure that the combination of science, law and business would offer a challenging yet rewarding career path. I applied for my position at HGF and after my first interview I was confident that HGF could offer a friendly and relaxed working environment and had a training programme in place to help support me through training and enable me to qualify. When I was offered the job after my second interview I therefore had no reservations in accepting the position straight away.

From my very first day at HGF I have worked on client cases. The work seemed very challenging at first and I quickly realised how much there was to learn, but there was always someone to ask for help whenever I needed it. After completing a task, I would always sit down with my supervising partner and discuss what I had done and ways that I could improve. HGF has a large variety of clients and in this regard I have been very lucky since this has meant a large variety of work. I have been exposed to a wide range of subject matter, from oil and gas, to medical devices to sports equipment. I have also had the opportunity to be involved in slightly less everyday work including freedom to operate opinions and European oppositions for which I have attended an oral hearing at the EPO in Munich. This variety of work has been extremely beneficial in helping with my skills development.

In addition to on-the-job training, HGF also runs a series of in-house tutorials to help with exam preparation and training. Each trainee also has their own individual training budget, which they can use to fund external training courses and other learning resources they might need. 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.

HGF is also a very social firm holding regular events. Recent examples include several relay teams taking part in a Keswick triathlon as well as an annual quiz, firm wide Christmas party, and monthly office get togethers. The patent profession is most definitely a stimulating and rewarding career path and continually offers new challenges. I would have no reservations in recommending the profession as a career and would definitely recommend HGF as a supportive and friendly environment in which to learn and advance.

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