What brought me to the patent profession?
I was thoroughly passionate about my degree course, but I felt that a career in academia could lack variety. I had considered careers in audio systems, or in laser manufacture, but I decided that I wanted exposure to a broad range of technology. I initially heard of the patent profession from speaking to an attorney at a university careers fair, and considered it further after discussing patented photoresist materials with my Master’s project supervisor.
Why and how did I apply to Wilson Gunn?
I hoped to remain in Manchester after completing my degree, and whilst I chose to apply to Wilson Gunn for a number of reasons, one was that they recruited into their Manchester office. I had also read that the firm had a long history in Manchester and Birmingham and a strong reputation for providing quality professional advice to local businesses. I submitted an application and was invited to an interview. The interview was a surprisingly pleasant experience, and from it I obtained a great first impression of the firm. Needless to say, I was delighted when I was offered a position.
Why I am happy I chose to join Wilson Gunn
From the outset I was made to feel welcome. As I hadn’t given it much thought at the time, I soon realised that joining a “medium sized” firm was a fortunate decision. As with many firms, each trainee works alongside one of the firm’s partners. However, all partners, attorneys and staff members in the office are approachable and the office maintains a sense of community. I have found it a pleasure to communicate directly with inventors when representing smaller clients. Despite its size, Wilson Gunn also retains high-profile clients as a result of our team of adept and dedicated attorneys.
What is life like for a trainee at the firm?
From my experience so far I have found that trainees are given a great deal of responsibility and in return are expected to produce work to a high standard. If you can do so, there is no hesitation in involving you in important cases. Within my first six months I had been involved in opposition work, infringement opinions and even a couple of patent drafts! Many of the inventions I work with test my ability to quickly get to grips with new (albeit not always revolutionary) technology – for example, in the last week I have been working on automotive components, 3D printing and tents.
Trainees at Wilson Gunn sit the PEB foundation examinations, and in-house training is supplemented by external courses and tutorials. A number of the partners are tutors on respected university courses on patent law. This is indicative of Wilson Gunn’s interest in supporting trainees and passion for maintaining the quality and reputation of the profession.
Wherever you apply, good luck in the application process and I wish you a successful and rewarding career.