• Role: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Manchester
  • University: -Non UK-
  • Degree: MPhil, Electronic and Computer Engineering

Minghui Sun

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What first attracted you to Marks & Clerk?

I applied to Marks and Clerk whilst working overseas because the firm has a strong international reputation. During the interview process, I was impressed by the professionalism of the HR team and fee earners, and everyone I met was friendly and approachable.

What does a typical working week look like?

There is no such thing as a typical week as there are always new and interesting projects to work on. I work closely with several supervisors who assign work to me and help to ensure that I can gain experience in a number of different areas. Patent prosecution is probably the main component of my work every week, but the types of client and technology vary greatly. There have also been plenty of opportunities for drafting work and research/review work for larger-scale projects (eg EPO oppositions and appeals, and freedom to operate reports).

Give us an idea of the range of clients you work with and the variety of technologies?

The clients I work with include world-famous multinationals, local and overseas SMEs and local start-ups. A lot of my work originates from local inventors, but I also receive work from foreign attorneys whose clients are looking to gain patent protection in the UK or Europe. The technologies range from electronic circuits, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, general electronic systems and printing techniques – all of which suit my background and knowledge.

Tell us about your career highlight to date

During the preparation of an opposition, I was tasked with looking for relevant prior art documents that could form the basis of our strategy. I was able to locate several key documents which were used in the opposition. It is always a delight when my work gets acknowledged by supervising attorneys and clients. From day one, I felt like my input really was valued.

What opportunities are there for development at Marks & Clerk?

At Marks & Clerk, I receive thorough on-the-job training every day from highly skilled and experienced attorneys. Also, Marks & Clerk provides a Training Academy to guide trainees through the qualifying examinations. This includes twice weekly webinars from skilled attorneys and solicitors within Marks & Clerk and I have found these sessions to be invaluable. There are several away days throughout the year where trainees from the different offices meet up for group study sessions and social events. Thanks no doubt in part to the training provided by Marks & Clerk, I was awarded the Moss Prize for passing two of the UK’s patent qualification exams with the highest aggregate mark.

At Marks & Clerk I feel both challenged and well supported – part of a real community.

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