• Role: Technical Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Durham
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering

Alice Stuart-Grumbar

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I graduated in June 2015 from Durham University with an undergraduate master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Having undertaken a couple of engineering internships during my studies, I knew that I wanted to do something which used the technical skills I had acquired at university but not necessarily work in a purely engineering firm.

Although I knew of the existence of patents and their importance through my studies and internships, I hadn’t really considered a career as a patent attorney until I spoke to a friend from Durham who was a trainee. She was the first of my friends who I had spoken to who seemed to really love the work they were doing. Having explored the career further, I decided it was perfect for me. It allowed me to use my technical knowledge whilst considering the broader impact of inventions and their commercial value to clients.

I started work at D Young & Co in September 2015 and can honestly say I’ve never regretted choosing this career path. D Young & Co is a great place to train due to the support given to you both by the partners for whom you work, and by the firm as a whole in providing access to in-house tutorials and external courses to help in your route to qualification. I share an office with a recently qualified patent attorney who is always happy to help me if I need it.

I am in the ‘ElecMech’ department and given my degree subject I mainly work on patent applications for mechanical inventions. This sees me cover a broad range of technologies from sewing machines to driverless cars! This means I am always learning something new and no two days are the same.

Most of my time centres on the prosecution stage of the patent application process. This involves responding to communications from both the European and UK patent offices requiring me to analyse applications and prior art documents and formulate arguments as to why the applications should be allowable.

A work/life balance is considered very important at D Young & Co with regular social events and the well known Christmas party. If you are looking for an interesting, varied and intellectually stimulating job in a supportive and friendly firm, I couldn’t recommend a career as a patent attorney at D Young & Co more.

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