• Name: Lois Marsh
  • Job Title: Patent Examiner
  • Location: Newport
  • University: Cardiff
  • Degree: Astrophysics
  • Areas of Specialism: Physics

What made you apply to the IPO?

It sounded like an interesting opportunity to learn something new! I considered taking an academic route but decided it wasn’t for me; however, I wanted to remain within science as this is what I am most interested in. Patent examining requires analytical skills and a scientific background, therefore I thought it could be a good fit for me. There were also a lot of benefits that attracted me to the IPO such as the flexi-time, relaxed and inclusive working environment and the initial in-depth training that you receive.

What technical field do you work on?

I work on audio-visual technologies, examining cases for virtual/augmented reality devices, 3D imaging systems and radio broadcasting. It’s also possible to move subject area, if you want to.

What was your training like?

The initial two months of the job was an in-depth training course to provide knowledge of the Patent Act and the process of patent examining. The training consisted of three to four patent law seminars a week, IT seminars, coursework to consolidate the lectures and a personal tutor to chat through any problems.

What is the work environment like?

The office is open plan with small partitions between sections. This means that you are never isolated, and group interaction is encouraged. If I get a challenging case, my group has a strong team dynamic, so people are always there to help. It’s a relaxed environment where you can get up from your desk whenever you need, whether that be for a coffee break or a short walk. The site has a gym, a shop, a cafeteria, coffee shop and lounge areas to take a break.

What is the next step in your career?

I plan to try for promotion when my skills and experience are at the right level, as the promotion is non-competitive. This involves maintaining a consistent work output and gaining experience.

What else do you do in the office?

The office has lots of staff networks, such as the LGBT+ network and the BAME network, and lots of sporting and leisure societies such as a book club, an office rugby team and a badminton club. There’s something for everyone!

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