Robbie, Patent Attorney at Marks & Clerk, shares their experience since joining the firm.
What skills are useful in this sector/profession?
Patent Attorneys work with inventors and clients who often have technical backgrounds. Having a strong grasp of scientific, engineering and technological concepts is crucial for understanding and effectively communicating about inventions. Having a technical aptitude allows Patent Attorneys to navigate complex technical details and translate them into legal concepts. Patent Attorneys often encounter complex legal and technical challenges that require creative problem solving. The field of intellectual property is continuously evolving, with new technologies and legal developments emerging all the time. Patent Attorneys should have a passion for learning and be adapt to new technologies, scientific advancements and legal precedents to provide the best advice to clients.
Why did you choose a job in this profession?
Studying mechanical engineering at university, my favourite part of my degree was learning about new engineering concepts and ideas. I had heard of the Patent Attorney profession from family friends and I had always found the thought of a career in this profession very interesting. When I graduated, I was unsure that a career in engineering was the right fit for me and decided that I would apply for a role as a trainee Patent Attorney. Having worked in the Patent Attorney profession for several years now, I am very happy that I made this decision. Working in this profession provides a unique opportunity to continually learn about new scientific ideas and concepts while combining law and technology to provide meaningful advice to clients.
What are your main duties within your role?
Working closely with inventors to understand their inventions and innovations, a large part of my role involves writing patent applications and preparing legal arguments to submit at patent offices to defend clients’ rights. I also assist clients in managing their patent portfolios by evaluating existing patents, advising on strategies for expanding or maintaining their portfolio, and collaborating with clients to develop intellectual property strategies aligned with their business goals. Now that I am a qualified Attorney, I meet with inventors on a more frequent basis to learn about their new inventions and discuss legal strategies with them. Collaborating and sharing knowledge with inventors, who are typically experts in their respective fields, is one of my favourite parts of the job.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
To become a Patent Attorney you must pass a number of qualifying examinations. The examinations consist of written papers requiring candidates to analyse technical and legal formation in a limited timeframe. The examinations are held annually and usually take several years for candidates to complete. While the examinations are challenging and require diligent preparation, the topics are intellectually stimulating and the work you do on the job is directly related to the examinations. Unlike many intellectual property law firms, Marks & Clerk has its own in-house Training Academy for trainees to prepare for the qualifying examinations. The Training Academy provides a series of lectures and away days where trainees are taught about the wide-ranging and complex subjects of patent law, as well as the necessary skills to pass the exams, which I found very helpful when preparing for the examinations.
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