About EIP

EIP is a dynamic, forward-thinking firm and one of the fastest growing IP practices in the UK; it has, most recently also opened an office in California, USA. It enjoys an excellent reputation for providing IP services primarily in niche specialisms and is trailblazing in the UK by incorporating patent attorneys and IP litigation solicitors in a combined partnership. EIP has a leading electronics and software practice and a significant presence in the life sciences, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and chemical sectors.

Find out more about opportunities at EIP.

———————————————————————————————————————————

The questions

I come from a bioscience background and am currently doing my master’s in Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine at UCL. In the patent attorney profession, would I need a PhD?
**
As a physics undergraduate I feel that I may want to pursue a PhD after I graduate. Is there any advantages of obtaining a PhD before applying for job as a trainee patent attorney?

Will EIP be recruiting this year for a chemistry graduate?
**
What role can students with MEng Chemical degrees take in EIP?

What would a typical working day at a patent office involve?

I am a graduate with 14 years’ work experience and I would like to enter the patent profession: I also have three children. Is there a way of juggling training as a patent attorney with work and my other commitments? I was wondering if you could study first and then work afterwards or study and work part time?

What is the typical career progression of a trainee patent attorney? Do you need any knowledge of law before applying?
**
What is the scope of career development in the profession? I presume most people would work towards becoming a partner in a firm or move up the ladder, but how often at EIP do you see people move to executive or management positions in other professions?

I am currently in the last year of my PhD in life sciences and wish to become a patent attorney. I will have the option to do a post doc upon completion of my PhD and was wondering whether it is a better idea to apply for a position as a patent attorney now, or do a post-doc first. How much do you value such experience?

As far as I am aware, EIP’s presence is strong in the USA but limited in Asia. Does the firm plan to extend its presence in Asia?

I am a second year computer science student and I have a year in industry in my study course. I was wondering if you offer internships at your new Cardiff office?

What are your requirements at A-level for non-UK EU students? Does this change if you have further education qualifications such as PhD?

I will be studying physics in California for my third year as part of the study abroad program. With EIP’s newly opened office in California I was wondering if there is the possibility of attaining work experience whilst I am in the States?

Are there opportunities in the UK IP practices for people who have law degrees from the US? What if the law degree is combined with a PhD in life sciences from a UK university?

I am a PhD student in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. What special skills and knowledge do you look for in a candidate?

As an experienced paralegal interested in pursuing a career in trade marks, what would you recommend I do to stand out as a candidate?

———————————————————————————————————————————

The answers

I come from a bioscience background and am currently doing my master’s in Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine at UCL. In the patent attorney profession, would I need a PhD?
Sara, UCL

**
As a physics undergraduate I feel that I may want to pursue a PhD after I graduate. Is there any advantages of obtaining a PhD before applying for job as a trainee patent attorney?
Joshua, University of Manchester

PhDs are not a prerequisite for a career in the patent profession and level of post-graduate qualification is not one of the selection criteria at EIP, therefore obtaining a PhD does not put a candidate at an advantage in the shortlisting process compared to equivalent candidates with graduate or master’s degrees.

PhDs can be an indicator of academic prowess which is an important criterion of those who succeed at EIP, but we also assess applicants against a number of criteria outside of academia, so outstanding academic achievement is no guarantee of an offer. We encourage all applicants with or without PhDs (but at least a graduate degree or equivalent) to apply.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

Will EIP be recruiting this year for a chemistry graduate?
Victoria, University of Manchester
**
What role can students with MEng Chemical degrees take in EIP?
Imad, University of Manchester

EIP provides IP advice in many different specialisms, one of which is biochemistry. This area of the business is not currently looking to recruit a trainee to start in 2017 but that may change so we would encourage applicants to send their details in on a speculative basis.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

What would a typical working day at a patent office involve?
Isadora, University of Hertfordshire

A typical day might involve a combination of the following:

  • Draft and file responses to patent office examination reports
  • Deal with clients’ requests and queries in a timely and helpful manner
  • Draft and file new patent applications
  • Deal with the prosecution of pending patent applications
  • Monitor deadlines
  • Analyse and advise on the results of internal patentability searches
  • Complete the necessary background reading prior to meetings
  • Check and assist the preparation of bills
  • External search reports issued by UK, European or other foreign patent offices
  • Ensure all relevant documents and emails are filed on the Document Management System
  • Keep diary up to date and ensure actions are completed in a timely manner
  • Draft emails to clients
  • Build a good relationship with clients, foreign attorneys, etc.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

I am a graduate with 14 years’ work experience and I would like to enter the patent profession: I also have three children. Is there a way of juggling training as a patent attorney with work and my other commitments? I was wondering if you could study first and then work afterwards or study and work part time?
Gabrielle, University of Birmingham

At EIP we place a high value in on-the-job learning and so trainees are taken on under a training contract. This enables them to benefit from working in the office alongside qualified professionals as well as studying the structured courses provided by external providers and sitting exams.

To establish eligibility for a trainee position, it would be necessary to first understand if the candidate’s skills, knowledge and experience were applicable to any of the practice groups at EIP. Assuming the candidate meets these criteria they would be invited to an interview to further test skills such as communication and analytical ability. Where a candidate performs well they would be offered a position.

With regard to the training process and various options, after offering a job we would discuss with the candidate whether an intensive course or a distance learning approach was more appropriate to their circumstances, so in the example above it may be that due to family commitments, the distance learning option would be more favourable to the candidate.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

What is the typical career progression of a trainee patent attorney? Do you need any knowledge of law before applying?
Imad, University of Manchester
**
What is the scope of career development in the profession? I presume most people would work towards becoming a partner in a firm or move up the ladder, but how often at EIP do you see people move to executive or management positions in other professions?
James, Cambridge University

The typical career route for a patent attorney is: obtain a graduate degree (or equivalent) in a technical subject such as electronic engineering, physics, computer science, etc. Next, apply to an IP Firm (or a firm with an IP department) to train as a trainee patent attorney (or it is possible to self-fund the Certificate in IP Law). There is therefore no requirement to have any knowledge of law before applying for a trainee position.

At EIP all trainees have a mentor who is more senior in terms of their qualification so they can show them the ropes. The trainee also works closely with senior fully qualified members of the firm and directly with clients. There is also much opportunity for in-house training with scheduled events in preparation for exams. The trainee becomes a part-qualified patent attorney having completed the Certificate in IP Law and then to obtain full qualification there are a further two sets of exams to become qualified in the UK and Europe. Those with both these qualifications can be considered fully qualified.

As a fully qualified patent attorney there are various positions of seniority available thereafter. Actual job title will vary according to the organisation but is likely to be ‘Associate’, ‘Senior Associate’ or ‘Partner’.

Progression to roles outside the profession is rare, particularly given the effort required to become qualified. The usual route is to work towards partnership within an IP practice, however it is also possible to work in industry within a business with an IP department.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

I am currently in the last year of my PhD in life sciences and wish to become a patent attorney. I will have the option to do a post doc upon completion of my PhD and was wondering whether it is a better idea to apply for a position as a patent attorney now, or do a post-doc first. How much do you value such experience?
William, Cranfield University

While post-doc experience enhances your specific scientific experience it is not required for training as a patent attorney. Much like the PhD itself, it will be considered alongside a number of other criteria to assess suitability and is unlikely to be the sole determining factor.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

As far as I am aware, EIP’s presence is strong in the USA but limited in Asia. Does the firm plan to extend its presence in Asia?
James, Cambridge University

In 2015, EIP opened a representative office in Japan to offer on the ground IP advice to our clients in the Asia and specifically Japan where we have a number of key clients. We are continually looking for opportunities to expand and assess our market position on a regular basis and are interested in opening further offices if client demand dictates this.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

I am a second year computer science student and I have a year in industry in my study course. I was wondering if you offer internships at your new Cardiff office?
Aleksandar, Cardiff University

In advance of making an offer of an internship to a candidate, we must first evaluate if there is sufficient resource for training as well as sufficient work available to occupy the intern. The suitable mix of work is based on the candidate’s experience and academic background so it would be necessary to see your CV in the first instance.

As a general rule, we are not of sufficient size to offer regular internships but do get in touch with us via careers@eip.com to check the current position.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

What are your requirements at A-level for non-UK EU students? Does this change if you have further education qualifications such as PhD?
William, Cranfield University

Assuming EU qualifications are the equivalent of any UK qualifications that we stipulate then candidates with non-UK qualifications will be afforded the same opportunities as those candidates with UK qualifications. As previously indicated, a PhD alone does not guarantee suitability as a trainee patent attorney.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

I will be studying physics in California for my third year as part of the study abroad program. With EIP’s newly opened office in California I was wondering if there is the possibility of attaining work experience whilst I am in the States?
Joshua, University of Manchester

In advance of making an offer to any candidate, we must first evaluate if there is sufficient resource for training as well as sufficient work available to occupy the intern. The suitable mix of work is based on the candidate’s experience and academic background. Since our Californian office is still very much within the start up phase, opportunities may not be available immediately.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

Are there opportunities in the UK IP practices for people who have law degrees from the U.S.? What if the law degree is combined with a PhD in life sciences from a UK university?
Lucas, University of Oxford

In most UK IP practices you can apply for a position as a patent attorney or solicitor. At EIP we are quite unique in combining both positions under one roof. Therefore, given your dual discipline of law and life science, you may be able to apply for either role when vacancies exist. However, from the point of view of becoming a qualified solicitor, since your law degree was obtained in the US, if you were applying to one of our non-US offices, you would need to undertake a conversion course (QLTT) in order to qualifying in aspects of law relevant to England & Wales.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

I am a PhD student in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. What special skills and knowledge do you look for in a candidate?
Saima, University of Sheffield

For candidates wishing to apply for a position of trainee patent attorney at EIP we require them to have a graduate degree in a technical discipline. Psychology is not a recognised technical discipline relevant to the business of EIP and so your academic background would not be considered appropriate to become a trainee patent attorney at EIP.

Back to top

———————————————————————————————————————————

As an experienced paralegal interested in pursuing a career in trade marks, what would you recommend I do to stand out as a candidate?
David, University of Liverpool

There can be differences in the meaning of the job title ‘paralegal’ within the legal sector. At EIP this term is used to describe the team of outstanding support staff who support the fee earners (attorneys) on a day-to-day basis.

In order to stand out from the crowd, EIP look for characteristics in people that complement its values. As a first class provider of IP services, EIP look to attract people who will delight its high profile client base. As a high commitment, high performance firm we recognise the importance of hiring the right people and are very proud of the exceptional support staff that enable the professional staff to excel in their work. Internally we value a team spirit and aim to create a fun and friendly yet hard-working and professional culture, in order to maintain the highest of standards.

As a modern progressive firm, good IT skills are essential. A can-do approach as well as personal integrity are of great importance: i.e. candidates should demonstrate a consistent, reliable manner and good time-keeping. Excellent organisational skills, enthusiasm and engagement with the activities associated with the role, the ability to communicate effectively and manage deadlines are just some of the key attributes we look for in a paralegal.

Back to top

Back to Top

Receive the latest Graduate Jobs Internships & Placements Profession Newsletters