• Role: Technical Assistant
  • Career Sectors: Patents
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: DPhil Cardiovascular Medicinal Chemistry

James Eaton

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Why did you choose Patent Boutique?
I wanted to be a part of a small but growing team and to join a firm that was looking forward rather than back. I felt that being a part of a small team would allow me to get to know my colleagues better and give me the opportunity to make an impact from the start. I wanted to be in a place that was constantly looking to optimise, improve and willing to do things a little differently.

When I came for my interview, I immediately realised that Patent Boutique met these requirements. The interview felt like a conversation and it was clear that they really cared about whether the person they were hiring was a good fit for the firm. Hearing about their modern working practices and flexible working arrangements further cemented this view.

What are your main duties/roles in your current position?
Most of my work has been centred around the process of getting a patent granted at the European Patent Office. This usually involves reviewing the patent examiner’s objections, advising a client on what to do next and preparing a written response to the objections. All of this is done under close supervision from a qualified attorney!

I have also met with inventors to discuss their inventions and assisted with drafting patent applications for them. I have had the chance to perform some legal research, which allowed me to spend a bit of time getting to know a specific area of patent law. I have also been given the opportunity to assist with advising a client on their acquisition of a patent from another company. All of these experiences have allowed me to learn and fully experience the blending of science, business and law.

What challenges have you come across and what support have your received?
I found that moving from the lab, where I had experience and knowledge, to a job where I essentially knew nothing was a bit of a shock. However, when I started there was no expectation for me to have any knowledge of patent law and I have been given plenty of time and support to learn as I go. For example, our weekly lunchtime tutorials have allowed me to improve my understanding on specific areas of the law.

What skills are useful in this profession?
Communication skills are essential. You will have to talk to people with different backgrounds so being able to tailor your language is key. Time management and the ability to quickly read and understand a document is vital as well.

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