• Role: Technical Assistant
  • Location: London
  • University: Imperial
  • Degree: Physics

Sam Giles

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I began to consider a career as a patent attorney during my Physics degree at Imperial College London. The summer before completing my degree I was lucky enough to land a role with a leading firm of IP solicitors. I enjoyed my time there, and it made me certain that a career in IP was right for me. However, I wanted a job with more exposure to technical content and so I started making applications for TA roles at patent attorney firms.

I had an interview with Mathys & Squire and got an offer the same day! I was fortunate enough to have offers from several firms, but Mathys appealed to me because of their excellent training record, and because of the breadth of work that I knew they would expose me to. Mathys also sends trainees on the Queen Mary course which was a great motivation for me to join.

The job

It’s been two years since I joined Mathys and I’ve been really pleased with my decision. In my first year I attended the CIPA informals lectures, and I have since taken, and passed, the QM certificate in IP. This was a great experience and introduced me to trainees at a lot of firms.

My day to day work is hugely varied. I have spent a lot of time working on oppositions (where one of the parties is attempting to revoke a recently granted European patent), as well as being involved in some UK litigation and settlement discussions. A lot of my work involves drafting patent applications from scratch; talking to the inventor, distilling ideas down and writing an application for them. This can be hugely rewarding. It was very nice earlier this year when the first draft I wrote was granted in the UK.

Our work is international, I have worked on cases with parallel litigation taking place in multiple countries around the world. As such, our clients and the other professionals we work with could be based in the US, Europe or Asia. Learning the differences between the law in each jurisdiction is an interesting part of our work, and vital to producing the best results for our clients.

Is being a patent attorney for you?

This is a challenging career, it can be stressful, and it can lead to some late nights. I’m currently preparing for my UK final exams which is very involved, and is done on top of a full-time job. It takes time to get used to the step from study to work, but once here you will find it extremely rewarding. The job allows me to get involved in cutting edge technology on a daily basis without the need to spend time locked up in a laboratory, whilst also engaging with interesting legal challenges in this area.

The work is interesting, fast paced and very varied. Mathys has been a great place to begin my career as a patent attorney, everyone is very supportive and our team is sociable, creating a great atmosphere to work in. I would suggest this career to anyone who has a passion for science and technology, and is a good communicator (who hopefully enjoys crafting a good argument!).

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