I have been a trainee patent attorney in the physics, electronics and engineering team at Beck Greener for nearly two years now and I am really enjoying the challenges of working and training. My favourite things about being a trainee patent attorney are the exposure to a wide range of innovative technologies and working towards professional qualifications. Training to become a patent attorney is a great opportunity for a scientist to continue in their field, whilst also branching out to the new and completely different area of law.
Getting the job
My advice to someone considering this career is to send CVs to the firms that sound like they have the culture and values you are looking for, even if they are not currently advertising a vacancy. For me, Beck Greener seemed to encapsulate everything I was aiming for, and it has turned out to be a great fit. At the interview, in addition to the usual aspects, I had to discuss simple mechanical objects from a patent perspective. This is a key part of all trainee patent attorney interviews, so my advice would be to have a look at some real patents and practise describing technical features of everyday objects.
Working and training
On a typical day, I am usually constructing arguments to address objections raised by a patent examiner about the patentability of an invention. I also provide reports and opinions to clients on topics such as infringement. One of the most interesting aspects of the job is drafting the patent applications themselves. This requires meeting with an inventor to discuss their invention and learning about all of the technical and inventive aspects that will be important for the patent application.
My job involves a lot of independent working, but I frequently have input from one of the partners who supervises all of the work that I do. Going through my responses and reports with a partner is where the main part of the day to day learning process comes in.
Beck Greener is a great firm to work at because of its friendly and open atmosphere and the large amount of support that trainees receive from all of the partners and associates. We have monthly social activities involving the whole firm and the firm’s size means that it’s easy to get to know everyone.View Beck Greener's Website