Why did you decide to pursue a career as a patent attorney?
During the course of my PhD I was fortunate enough to be involved in the filing and prosecution of several patent applications. I therefore gained first-hand experience in the world of intellectual property. Immediately, I was intrigued and, upon researching what the career might entail and speaking with several patent attorneys, I decided that a career as a patent attorney would not only satisfy my desire to learn about new technology but would also be well suited to my particular skillset.
What’s it like working at Secerna?
Working at Secerna has been fantastic and I immediately found it to be a comfortable and friendly working environment with support always on hand if needed. The range of clients I have worked with has satisfyingly expanded my scientific knowledge into areas I hitherto knew nothing about, and, as our clients include international enterprises, individual inventors, universities and SMEs, I have also gained invaluable experience in client management. My duties have also been highly varied, ranging from patent drafting to prosecution and has provided me with a broad experience even though I am relatively new to the profession. This broad range of clients and responsibilities is certainly a perk of working at a smaller firm and has given me experience that I might not have otherwise had.
What skills are required?
Many different skills are required to be successful in the patent profession. For example, good communication skills are vital as they are employed daily as you will be required to explain challenging concepts to fellow colleagues, clients and patent offices – not all of whom will have English as a first language. You should also be self-motivated as you will be required to compliment the skills and knowledge that you are acquiring during daily practice with study in your own time. Other desirable skills are good problem-solving skills, time management and attention to detail. If you feel you have these skills, find the overlap of science, law and commerce fascinating and have a keen interest to learn new things then I would definitely recommend a career as a patent attorney.
What progression opportunities are available?
I have found the firm to be flexible and if you are keen to develop there is a great supportive network to help you do this.