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  • Name: Colin Paterson
  • Job Title: Patent Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Strathclyde
  • Degree: PhD Mathematics

I enjoyed the technical writing involved with the preparation of articles to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals during my PhD in Mathematics. The patent profession appeared to offer the opportunity to do such technical writing, and to be involved with more industrially-relevant developments in science and engineering.

I was impressed by the vibrant and modern feel of Keltie’s website, and so I sent off a covering letter together with a copy of my CV. I was invited to attend an interview and met with two qualified attorneys. We discussed my academic background, my interests, my knowledge about the profession, and my motivations for wishing to join both Keltie and the profession in general. In addition, I was asked to write a description of a simple mechanical item and identify its key features.

In subsequent interviews I met with several Partners of the Firm, together with a number of other employees. Every person I met during the interview process was friendly, personable, and passionate about the Firm, and I did not hesitate to accept the offer of employment. At Keltie, trainees are responsible for managing their own workload and to seek help when it is needed. All trainees have the opportunity to work with several different Partners of the Firm such that you are exposed to a range of different technological areas from different clients.

Keltie has an open-plan office and every member of the Firm is treated as an equal. It is a sociable Firm, whether it be a group of people going for a few drinks after work or simply having a game of pool in the office kitchen. The social aspect of the Firm was particularly important to me because starting this job involved moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. In my first twenty months I have been involved in a variety of patent matters such as the drafting and prosecution of several patent applications. I have also worked on infringement cases and have attended Opposition Oral Proceedings at the European Patent Office in Munich.

Last year, I undertook a part-time secondment working in-house three days per week for one of our clients in the automotive industry. This helped me to become more aware of how business strategy influences decisions taken by a company with regard to intellectual property. The secondment gave me the opportunity to have lots of direct contact with inventors, which helped me to develop a greater understanding of their inventions and the field of technology in general.

I recently completed the postgraduate Intellectual Property Certificate at Bournemouth University. This qualification allows me to move on to the UK Advanced Exams, and I will be starting these this autumn. I attended weekly lectures organised by the CIPA Informals aimed at new trainees to the profession, which give a good grounding in all aspects of the profession. I am also on the committee organising this year’s IP Ball: both this and the lectures are a good way to meet trainees from other patent firms.

Keltie is an enjoyable place to work and a good place to learn. It is full of dedicated and hard-working people, and I would recommend anyone who is interested in undertaking a traineeship in the patent profession to apply.

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