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  • Name: Matthew Yip
  • Job Title: Technical Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Durham
  • Degree: PhD Physics
  • Career Sectors: Patents

After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge, I went to Durham to pursue a PhD in Particle Physics. However, before it had run its course I became convinced that my future did not lie in academia – intellectually fascinating as my research work was, I was eager to work in less painstakingly specialised areas of knowledge, with a stronger connection to the world at large.

In addition to my analytical skills, I have always known I have a particular proficiency with words and a natural attention to detail, and have fulfilled and enjoyed various responsibilities at university in relation to these, such as editing student magazines. With these interests in mind, as I entered my final year I started to look into a potential career as a patent attorney; after some initial research, and liking what I saw, I sent off job applications to a few private firms in London, and heard back swiftly from some of them.

Personally, having spent significant parts of my life in smaller towns, I was hoping to work and live in a big metropolitan city, and therefore was especially keen to get a job in London.

My interview at Maucher Jenkins was my third job interview at a patent attorney firm. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere and I clicked immediately – it is an environment in which I thrive, and which I still enjoy in my day-to-day working life. I was offered a position as a trainee shortly afterwards, and I wasted no time in accepting it.

Instead of exclusively assisting one or two senior attorneys, I work for a number of experienced partners and associates – all of whom have been very helpful and approachable whenever I needed advice in my nine months at Maucher Jenkins so far. This fact has also contributed to the satisfyingly wide range of subject matter I have worked on. Despite a focus on telecommunications, I have been involved in prosecuting inventions from musical instruments to bathtubs. The daily work is of course not without challenges, not least when I need to work, at short notice, on cases in technical fields I have little knowledge of (some complex cases on encryption methods spring to mind). The learning curve is steep, and the formal, legal aspects of the job need getting used to; but these challenges are what give the job its vitality.

I am encouraged and supported by Maucher Jenkins to study the QMUL Certificate in Intellectual Property Law. Along with the support I get in the office (and that provided to my colleagues preparing for professional exams), I believe I am already on my way to building a strong career.

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