What exactly do patent attorneys do?
At the core of the job is the preparation of patent applications on behalf of clients. This involves understanding an invention, distilling it down to its key features and then writing a very clear and broad-based description of it, such that a Patent Examiner will be persuaded to grant a patent. Around that core skill, a Patent Attorney will be called upon to advise clients on all aspects of patent procedures, on international patent protection and on effective patent strategies.
What makes a good patent attorney?
- A strong science or engineering background to at least first degree level.
- An interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology.
- Good communication skills that can be adapted for clients from a wide variety of educational and commercial backgrounds.
- The ability to make confident judgement calls based on information provided.
- A good eye for detail and accuracy.
What makes this an interesting career?
- The opportunity to apply your science or engineering degree to a wide cross-section of clients and technologies.
- Continuing intellectual challenge – you never stop learning.
- Excellent career opportunities and financial rewards.
- International aspects of the work and travel opportunities.
What are the main challenges to be overcome?
- The exams are tough, and even very capable graduates sometimes fail (on one or more occasions).
- The training is rigorous and you can expect it to take some time for you to be able to operate independently.
- You have to learn to be accountable for your time and to make sure you use it very effectively.