Having spent several years working as a post-doctoral researcher, I needed a new challenge. The patent attorney profession was an attractive option as not only does it require in-depth scientific knowledge but it also offers the unique opportunity to learn about law and business. Fuelled by an interest in a broader range of scientific topics and an appetite for problem solving, I transitioned into a trainee patent attorney role specialising in biotechnological inventions at J A Kemp in October 2016.
I had chosen J A Kemp due to its reputation for high quality training and its open and friendly culture. J A Kemp offers training on the job, ideal for absorbing the necessary knowledge required to secure patent protection for inventions. From the get-go I was assigned work that would be sent to patent Examiners and clients. Thankfully, trainees are also assigned a mentor who will oversee your work and will help you develop the necessary skills to become a proficient patent attorney. In addition, trainees are also provided with in-house tutorials covering all topics of intellectual property law throughout their career. We also have monthly discussions on case law to keep up-to-date with changes in legislation.
I have already been exposed to a diverse range of biotechnological inventions at the forefront of science. I have worked on cases relating to vaccines, cell culture methods, and anti-cancer drugs, to name a few. From time to time, I also get the exciting opportunity to work on cases that incorporate elements from other scientific fields, such as chemistry and engineering. Besides exposure to a broad range of inventions, the work I receive is also varied. I am involved in prosecution work, which often requires review of scientific articles to formulate arguments in overcoming objections raised by an Examiner against patent applications. In less than a year, I have already assisted with the drafting of 3 patent applications, each focusing on a different area of Biological science. I also work on cases in many jurisdictions (for example, Europe, US, Canada, China, Israel, and India) providing me with the chance to learn about law in other countries . Although work is primarily office-based, I am frequently offered the opportunity to attend biotechnology conferences which satisfies the scientist in me.
I have particularly enjoyed the responsibility that has been given to me from day one. The diverse work is refreshing and has provided me, so far, with a comprehensive understanding of patent law in a relatively short time frame. This job is ideal for those who have a thirst for knowledge and who wish to utilise their scientific expertise in helping businesses and inventors obtain protection for their inventions. It requires a great deal of commitment including a number of exams over the course of 4 to 5 years to fully qualify as a patent attorney. However, the rewards that come from such challenging work is undeniable.