Patent attorneys (also known as patent agents) secure and help to protect the granting of patents for their clients.
Specially trained in drafting patents and with knowledge of intellectual property law, you will lead individual inventors or companies through the required process to obtain a patent and then act to enforce inventors’ rights if patents are infringed.
Patents are granted by the government and give inventors the right to prevent other parties from using or copying their invention for up to 20 years.
- reading descriptions and discussing details of inventions with clients
- undertaking searches to establish that inventions are novel
- producing detailed legal descriptions of inventions
- submitting, defending and negotiating patent applications
- supervising and training junior staff (technical assistants)
- keeping up to date with intellectual property law
- providing associated legal advice
You’ll usually need a degree (at least a 2:1) in a science, engineering, technical or mathematics-based subject to get a job as a trainee patent attorney.
- an understanding of scientific and technological principles and processes;
- excellent written and oral communication skills;
- the ability to express complex technical ideas clearly and concisely;
- an eye for detail and an analytical mind;
- the ability to structure a precise, coherent argument;
- confidence and tenacity;
- a willingness to get to grips with legal and commercial arguments;
- the ability to work with a wide variety of people;
- self-motivation and the ability to manage your own workload;
- a readiness to take responsibility.