• Name: Danqi Zhao
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Farnham
  • University: Queen Mary London
  • Degree: MSc, Management of Intellectual Property
    BSc, Electrical Engineering and Automation - Shanghai Maritime University, China
  • Areas of Specialism: Electrical Engineering

Having worked as a Chinese patent attorney for three years, I joined Maucher Jenkins in November 2021. Prior to entering the patent profession, I spent a year as an assistant electrical engineer following my graduation from university.

Why did you choose a job in this profession?

During my time as an assistant engineer, I gradually discovered that my true passion lies in leveraging my scientific background in a broader context rather than focusing on a specific technical area. As I considered my next career move, the patent profession unexpectedly captured my attention. After conducting thorough research, I came to the realisation that this profession, which combines elements of science, law, and business, was an ideal fit for me. Additionally, the relatively structured career progression and the sense of certainty also appealed to me.

What are your main duties/roles?

Since my first day as a trainee, I have been fully engaged in handling real-life cases and acquiring practical training, all while receiving consistent support from my supervisors. As part of my responsibilities, I typically review cases and draft letters to the EPO or UKIPO for prosecution. These documents are then carefully reviewed and revised by a partner or a supervising associate, followed by a one-on-one discussion to finalise them. This aspect of the work is predominantly individual, providing ample opportunities to establish a comfortable working pace and showcase my grasp of the subject matter.

The partners, associates, and support staff are all incredibly friendly and approachable, fostering a positive and supportive environment. Moreover, my workload has been quite manageable, gradually increasing as I gain confidence and experience in the field.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I have completed the IP PGCert at Queen Mary University of London during my MSc in Management of Intellectual Property, this allows me to participate in the final exams for qualification as a UK patent attorney during my first year as a trainee, successfully passing one of my recent exams. This year, my goal is to make further progress in the UK exams in October. Additionally, I plan to take the pre-EQE exam next year, progressing my journey towards qualifying as a European patent attorney.

Maucher Jenkins provides extensive support for exam preparations. While a significant portion of training occurs through on-the-job discussions and preparing responses to Examiners, we also have regular training sessions and discussions on various IP topics within the firm. This proves highly advantageous for exam preparations. Moreover, I gain valuable insights from other trainees and associates when they share their experiences and discuss cases they deal with in their daily work during training discussions.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?

I would suggest conducting thorough research on the profession to gain a clear understanding of the nature of the work involved. This will allow you assess if it aligns with your career goals. If possible, I highly recommend pursuing a work experience opportunity which offer a valuable firsthand insight and overview of what to expect in the field.

Back to Top

Get the latest jobs