I Want to Work in ...... Patent Work
- Patent Examiner ....
- Patent Attorney
- Trade Mark Attorney
- Intellectual Property Lawyer
- Job Roles in the Birth of a Medicine
PROFILE: Patent Examiner
The primary function of job is to examine applications for patents for alleged inventions are within the requirements of the Patents Act and don't infringe the rights of inventors. It involves:
EMPLOYERS: UK Intellectual Property Office (Newport, Gwent); European Patent Office (Germany & the Netherlands)
- UK Intellectual Property Office Newport, South Wales www.ipo.gov.uk
Patent Examiner Vacancies. Patents protect new technology for both products and processes. Patent owners can enjoy exclusive rights to their inventions for up to 20 years, enabling them to strike licensing deals or keep rivals at bay whilst they establish their brand. The public benefits from seeing details of inventions when published, and can use that information as a springboard for their own innovations. Vacancies for graduates with at least a 2:2 degree in science, engineering, maths or computing. Closing Date for applications 16.12.2012. The posts commence in April 2012 but if you are not available until after that date then we'd still like to hear from you www.ipo.gov.uk/careers-patentexaminer.htm
- European Patent Office www.epo.org offices in Munich, The Hague and Berlin. Our graduate engineers and scientists – drawn from over 30 different European countries – work at the cutting edge of technology, examining the latest inventions in every technical field in order to protect and promote innovation in Europe. If you have a degree in physics, chemistry, engineering or the natural sciences, and an excellent knowledge of one of the Office’s three official languages (English, French and German) and the ability to understand the other two, you too could be part of our team of patent examiners in Munich, The Hague and Berlin. To find out more about what it means to be a patent examiner and for details of our attractive benefits package, please visit our employment pages at : www.epo.org/about-us/jobs/vacancies/examiners.html
PROFILE: Patent Agent/AttorneyActs as agent for obtaining patents world-wide. These are akin to solicitors specialising in patent work. Write the application for the inventors and negotiate with Patent Offices. Obtains patents for clients. Reads descriptions of inventions & writes detailed specifications. Files applications with Patent Office. Gives legal advice to clients.
EMPLOYERS: There are about 1600 registered patent attorneys in the UK. Private practices employ the majority; large industrial companies have their own patent departments. Government departments - mainly the Ministry of Defence which employs a lot. It is possible to work as a self-employed sole practitioner once qualified.
RELATED JOBS: Patent Examiner, Regulatory Affairs Officer, Trademark Attorney - there are about 700 of these in the UK, Information Scientist, Technical Author, Research Scientist. There are also some specialist patent barristers in London.
SATISFACTIONS: Intellectual challenge, good salary.
NEGATIVES: Most jobs in London. Heavy workload.
ADVANCEMENT: Can qualify as a European Patent Attorney. May eventually become a partner in an agency.
Patent applications have risen sharply in recent years driven by filing of new applications in China and Japan and a rise in energy technology patents. Patent attorneys are highly selective in who they recruit, with a preferences for PhD applicants and often graduates from top universities.
PROFILE: Trade Mark Attorney
Advise clients on the registration, use and exploitation of new and existing trade marks and on their trade marks rights. “Trade Marks” may include words (brand names and slogans), logos, packages (such as the Coca-Cola bottle), sounds (such as the Intel chord sequence) and even colours (Heinz has trademarked the colour of its baked bean cans). This is a relatively small and specialised profession with far fewer vacancies for graduate trainees than patent work – the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) has about 1600 members, including trainees.
A more detailed profile of a Trade Mark Attorney can be found at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/trademarkatt
- Abel & Imray www.patentable.co.uk leading firm of IP Attorneys with offices in London, Cardiff and Bath.
- Boult Wade Tennant www.boult.comRecruits traineepatent and trade mark attorneys. Offices in London, Reading, Oxford & Cambridge.
- Carpmaels & Ransford www.carpmaels.comThe first UK patent firm, founded over 200 years ago. Recruits traineepatent and trade mark attorneys
- Chapman Molony www.chapmanmolony.com specialise in high-tech industries such as electronics, optics, telecoms, defence and energy.
- Dehns www.dehns.com patent and trade mark attorneys
Interview for a patent attorney post
- Why do you want to be a patent attorney?
- Why do you want to join our firm??
- What do you know about our firm?
- What is the job of patent attorney?
- What training do you have to do?
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
- What makes a good sales person?
- How good is your French and German?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Why should we hire you?
- General CV based questions.
- How would you cope with lack of responsibility at first?
- How do brakes in a car work?
- How does a light bulb work?
- What is the structure and function of an antibody?
- How do you make antibodies?
- What are the disadvantages of animal originating antibody?
- How do you overcome these disadvantages?
- What is the polymerase chain reaction?
- I was then shown 4 items and asked to describe them, identify them and say how they work. They were: turbine blade; socket casing for plasterboard walls; cat’s eye (road type); section of PVC double glazing (also asked how this was made).
40 minute test with 3 sections.
1) Correct the English in a memo;
2) What is the difference between a match and a lighter, parts that constitute a lighter, benefits of lighter over match; 3) Describe a staple remover.
Research the company as much as possible. Know all about the job. Try to relax.
- Harrison Goddard Foote www.hgf.com offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and York.
- Haseltine Lake & Co. www.HaseltineLake.com patent attorneys
- Keltie www.keltie.com patent and trade mark attorneys
- Marks & Clerk www.marks-clerk.com patent attorneys
- Mewburn Ellis www.mewburn.com patent attorneys
- RWS www.rws.com/EN leading patent translation and search company. A Kent graduate joined them as a scientific patent researcher
- Sanderson & Co www.sandersons.co.uk/careers.htmEssex-based firm ofpatent and trade mark attorneys. Can offer work experience
- Withers and Rogers www.withersrogers.com – intellectual property law firm which recruits patent and trade mark attorneys
Top UK patent attorney firms (2012) - taken from The Legal 500/Inside Careers
- Boult Wade Tennant
- Carpmaels & Ransford
- D Young & Co LLP
- Gill Jennings & Every LLP
- J A Kemp
- Kilburn & Strode
- Marks & Clerk LLP
- Mewburn Ellis LLP
- Potter Clarkson
- Reddie & Grose LLP
- UK Intellectual Property Office Newport, South Wales www.ipo.gov.uk
- European Patent Office www.epo.org offices in Munich, The Hague and Berlin.
Another option might be to become a solicitor or barrister specialising in intellectual property (IP) law. As well as patent and trade mark work, IP law also includes copyright. Work in all these areas often involves litigation where IP rights are being infringed.
Graduates in any subject can train as solicitors or barristers via the GDL “conversion course” and science and engineering graduates are much sought-after for IP work. For further information about careers in law, see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteslaw.htm
Other useful sites include:
- Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Association www.ipla.org.uk
- Intellectual Property Bar Association www.ipba.co.uk
- The Law Society’s pages on IP http://bit.ly/fPlrAk
- Queen Mary College, University of London runs an MSc in the Management of Intellectual Property and an LLM in IP Law www.ccls.qmul.ac.uk/courses/msc-ip
- Target Jobs – profile of IP Law http://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/law-barristers/areas-of-work/intellectual-property-law
- Inside Careers www.insidecareers.co.uk Find out more about a career as a Chartered Patent Attorney, the graduate recruiters and apply to graduate patent attorneys jobs, work experience, internships and placements
WHAT IS A PATENT ATTORNEY? Understand the basics: ‘what does a patent attorney do?’ and ‘what’s a patent?’
WHAT YOU NEED TO BECOME A PATENT ATTORNEY If you are interested in becoming a patent attorney, you will need to have some technical know-how. This often means a scientific or engineering degree. Find out more about patent requirements.
WHAT YOU COULD EARN Salaries in this profession are good, not least because of the skills and training you are required to have. Learn more about the financial benefits today.
HOW TO APPLY Learn where and how you can get a position as a trainee patent attorney.
Profiles from Trainee Patent Attorneys and Partners who work in a number of Patent firms in the UK.
- Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys www.cipa.org.uk
- Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys www.itma.org.uk
- World Intellectual Property Organization www.wipo.int
- Patent Attorneys in the UK www.freeindex.co.uk/categories/financial_and_legal/legal/patent_agents
Last fully updated 2012