• Name: Ruth Sang Jones
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: DPhil Materials Science
  • Areas of Specialism: Life Sciences

I am a specialist in boron nitride nanotubes after completing my doctorate, but also an advocate of developing as a generalist. I joined the Hoffmann Eitle Mechanical team (London office) in early 2021.

A week in the life of…

On Monday morning I log in from home via the firm’s virtual desktop. I check my emails to prioritise those that need immediate action or acknowledgement. There are a few: the HR Manager is reminding me to write a trainee profile brief, my supervisor has assigned me two new UKIPO patent cases, our Munich office has sent out a summer party invitation, and my assistant is asking that I review an email before it is sent to the client. I start with the email review and other minor tasks that are residual from the previous week. It is then time to start the work that will likely take up the biggest chunk of the day. Today, that chunk is assisting with preparing a response to a Notice of Opposition filed against a European patent. I work on the inventive step arguments for the rest of the day.

It’s Tuesday and I can hear the office background soundtrack of printers whirring, keyboards clicking and someone’s footsteps in the corridor; I have missed it. Today’s work is largely a continuation of yesterday’s, except that I am looking at the sufficiency of disclosure section of the Notice of Opposition and reading sections of the Guidelines for Examination at the EPO. An attorney on the mechanical engineering team wants to discuss a patent draft, so we schedule a meeting for tomorrow.

My meeting is just after lunch on Wednesday. I present some preliminary drawings that I have prepared for the draft, and we discuss these along with the draft patent description. It’s a good effort but there are things that need amendment. I leave the meeting with some action points to complete before we next sit down together.

On Thursday I open my to-do list and decide to make a start on one of the cases my supervisor assigned to me on Monday. I need to read the UKIPO Examination report, the patent application and the cited prior art.

I am working remotely from home again on Friday. I plan to finish my draft response to the UKIPO Exam report before mid-week next week, and schedule to meet my supervisor then to discuss it in person.

A busy and intellectually fulfilling week.

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