What made you apply to be a patent attorney?
In the final year of my degree in Electronic Engineering, I was exploring jobs mostly in the software development industry. However, I was not sure that I wanted to pursue a career purely in software development. I unexpectedly received a job offer as an in-house Patent Engineer in a company specializing in high performance routers and networking solutions.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work in the in-house patent department. After a few years in that role, I decided to start my formal training as a UK and European patent attorney at Venner Shipley.
Why did you apply to Venner Shipley?
Venner Shipley has a great reputation in terms of being one of the best IP firms in the UK. When I went in for the interview, I was very pleased to see how friendly the people were, and they made sure I was comfortable and encouraged open communication. The interview process was fairly easy and straightforward. After the interview, I was sure that Venner Shipley would be a good fit for me. Despite being a big firm, each and every employee is treated with respect, and is valuable to the firm.
What type of work have you done?
I have done a broad range of work since I started working here. I work on prosecution and drafting of UK and EP patent applications related to a wide range of technologies in the field of electronics. The clients that I work with include large multinational corporations. An added advantage of being based in Guildford at Surrey Research Park was that I also get to work with a number of small-to-medium enterprises and start-up companies based around our office. The variety of clients helped me grow my technical knowledge significantly. I also learned various ways of drafting and prosecution of patents based on the preferences and needs of various different clients.
What has been your most interesting piece of work?
One of the best learning experiences for me was attending oral proceedings with my supervisor before the examining division. It was very interesting to see how my supervisor communicates with the examining division and presents the arguments, and more importantly how the examining division reacts to arguments. I helped my supervisor with preparing proposals on the spot during the hearing based on the examining division’s comments, and finally the examining division approved one of our proposals.
How is the training?
I have enjoyed my on-the-job training quite a lot. While I am given enough responsibility to organize my own workload, I also get constructive feedback and mentoring from my supervisor. I also have opportunity to provide significant inputs to the work and at the same time learn from my supervisor. It is a perfect balance of getting valuable advice and comments on my work and also having the freedom to work in my own style. I am also encouraged to do tasks at my own pace so that I can maximize my learning experience. At the same time, I am learning how to be more time efficient as my responsibilities increase over time. For UK foundation level qualification, the firm sends its trainees for the Queen Mary course. I completed the course in 2019, and I felt that the course is very helpful in terms of studying together in a team, and getting to know fellow trainees. The firm also provides additional training through internal seminars and tutorials. Trainees are also encouraged to attend a lecture series at CIPA, which provides an introduction to the topics studied in more detail during the Queen Mary course on Intellectual Property.