Being a trainee patent attorney is a varied and interesting career. I enjoy working on a range of technologies with diverse clients and dealing with different aspects of patent prosecution.
Why did you choose a job in this sector?
I have always been interested in science – specifically biotechnology. During my PhD, it became apparent that variety was important to me and I took part in several business development programmes where I had the opportunity to work with inventors of new technologies and helped plan a route to market. I really enjoyed this and I wanted a career where I would be exposed to cutting edge technologies and a broad spectrum of science. I have also always enjoyed writing and problem solving, so a career as a patent attorney seemed to be the perfect blend of all my interests.
What are your main duties/roles?
Most of my duties surround patent prosecution. Often, this will involve responding to patent Examiners and overcoming any objections that they have raised. I really enjoy developing arguments and strategies to protect our clients’ inventions, and the challenge this poses. I have also been given the opportunity to get involved in drafting several applications, this has allowed me to communicate directly with inventors and really get to understand how their inventions work, I find this aspect of the job particularly fascinating.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
I would recommend that they try and get some work experience. I did an internship with a local firm during my PhD which was incredibly helpful for giving me an idea of what working in the profession would be like. I would also recommend networking as much as you can, when I was exploring the profession I spoke to as many patent attorneys as I could to find out about their careers and how they had managed to get into the profession. They were able to give me a really helpful insight into what the career would be like and the skills I should develop to help secure a position.