Missed the IEUK deadline? Apply to On Demand

Can’t attend IEUK’s live experience or missed the deadline? No worries! You can still participate with On Demand. Access recorded sessions and work samples in your chosen sector, and complete the experience at your own pace over two weeks. Apply by 26th June.

Meet Thomas – Trainee Patent Attorney at Marks & Clerk

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

Thomas, Trainee Patent Attorney at Marks & Clerk, shares their experience since joining the firm.

My career path to date

I first considered training to become a patent attorney at the careers centre of my university. I had asked for help finding a job where I could continue using my degree without going into research. The role appealed to me because having a STEM background was a prerequisite, so pursuing this career path didn’t feel like I was taking a step backwards by having to do a conversion degree. Additionally, the thought of being able to see the most recent innovations sounded interesting.

After the suggestion from the university careers centre, I started looking at various IP firms around the UK and found Marks & Clerk’s open day in their Glasgow office which I registered to attend. The open day really helped me learn about the path to becoming a fully qualified patent attorney. While the prospect of more exams after university wasn’t exactly thrilling, I liked the idea of continuing to develop professionally and could see a clear path for career progression as I got more qualified.

Fast forward a bit and I have now been working at Marks & Clerk for two and a half years. Since then I have passed my foundation exams and become part qualified in the UK. I have also recently passed the first of my European exams, so I am steadily working towards becoming a dual qualified attorney. The support offered by Marks and Clerk has been invaluable so far, both through their in-house training academy, and the mentoring from the people I work with. 

Most of my work to date has been working on patent prosecution which entails dealing with letters from various patent offices with the goal of getting a patent application through to grant. Even if this broad description of the task is the same, each case can be about something completely different and will likely have different factors and nuances to consider.  

My advice for people looking to join the profession is to show the ability to think flexibly. While you need a STEM degree, it is highly unlikely that you will come across anything you have seen before. The important thing is to be able to understand how the new developments of an invention tie in with what you already know, and if you don’t know anything about it, to be able to learn. 

Interested in learning more about Marks & Clerk's opportunities? Check out their profile here.