When I entered my final year at university I was unsure about what I wanted to do next. I had previously done a few internships working in engineering roles, but I found that the work would mostly focus on small details in a very specific area of technology. I wanted a technology-focused job where I could work with a variety of technologies with more focus on the commercial context of the technology. I came across the patent law profession by accident, but it appeared to tick all my boxes. I spent some time researching the job and applied to several firms.
The interview at Hoffmann Eitle lasted a full morning and consisted of a mix of personal questions as well as technical questions, which assessed my ability to understand technical concepts and explain them in a clear and concise manner. This was followed by a lunch with some trainees and attorneys which allowed me to ask questions about training and life at the firm.
I eventually chose Hoffmann Eitle because of the international focus of the firm. Having offices in five different countries, there are ample opportunities to work with different partners and clients from all over the world. Our Christmas and summer parties are usually held in Munich and provide an opportunity to meet colleagues from the other offices. Every trainee is also given the opportunity to spend six months working in our Munich office. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Munich which allowed me to work with many partners and clients on a wide range of technologies. As Munich is the centre of the European patent system, I had the opportunity to attend numerous oral proceedings at the European Patent Office. Attending these is invaluable, and I certainly benefitted greatly from observing first-hand how experienced attorneys present their case.
On a day-to-day basis, I am involved in a variety of work, ranging from drafting and prosecuting patent applications, assisting with freedom-to-operate assessments, oppositions and appeals and advising clients on matters of UK and European law. I particularly enjoy working closely with clients and inventors on a new invention and providing advice on patent matters through the entire product development process. There is a lot of support for trainees in the office and everyone is willing to take time out of their day to answer my questions or help me out when I get stuck on a case.