• Name: Christopher O’Reilly
  • Job Title: Patent Assistant
  • Location: Galway, Ireland
  • University: -Non UK-
  • Degree: TU Dublin - Mechanical Engineering
  • Areas of Specialism: Mechanical Engineering

Mine was a somewhat alternative entry into the patent profession as I was working as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer in the Automotive and Motorcycle industries for ten years before starting as a Patent Technical Assistant with Keltie. I first heard of the patent profession during my time as an engineer, where I routinely worked to design around competitor patents relating to the components or systems for which I was responsible.

Towards the end of my stint in engineering, I worked for an engineering consultancy. I particularly enjoyed the varied work that consultancy brought and being at the technological forefront. After some research into the patent profession, I realised that it offered similar opportunities to be involved in a wide variety of interesting things.

I chose to apply to Keltie as it is regarded as one of Europe’s leading IP firms and they have offices in Ireland. Being Irish myself and having had to leave my home country in pursuit of my engineering career, I decided to change career and return to Ireland.

I am delighted to say that my decision has paid off. I now work for Keltie as a Patent Technical Assistant and live in the wonderful city of Galway situated on the west coast of Ireland. The West of Ireland is an attractive location for an IP firm such as Keltie as it is a thriving innovation hub, particularly in relation to medical devices, pharmaceuticals, engineering and software.

I get to work alongside my colleagues in our London, Cambridge and Cotswold offices on a regular basis, which allows me to learn from their experience and the wide range of technologies and clients in the Keltie portfolio.

The aspects of the job I love are the problem-solving nature of drafting and prosecuting patent applications, the sheer variety of work, being at the cutting edge of fascinating technologies and working with inventors to help turn their ideas into reality. I am being exposed to technical fields and commercial situations that I would never have experienced in my work as an engineer.

Keltie is incredibly welcoming, and trainees receive wonderful support as they develop their careers in IP. I have had the opportunity to work with multiple supervisors and across a range of engineering disciplines.

I am currently training to become a qualified UK, Irish and European Patent Attorney. In this respect, there are various paths that lead to qualification. Keltie has a very open and inclusive approach to supporting its trainees in their qualification journey. Our firm recognises that the best way not merely to qualify but also to become an excellent patent attorney is to experience a wide variety of interesting work in a supportive and enjoyable environment.

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