What was your first ever job?
A short telesales role. My first job after university was working for the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) as an experimental physicist, developing novel ways to test the effect of cold X-ray exposure to heatshield materials.
How did you get involved in intellectual property and what first attracted you to the field?
It all happened by chance. In August 2018 I decided to take a career break from my role at MBDA, where I was part of their “sparkworks” team involved in novel technology development. I was invited for an interview at Potter Clarkson and it sparked my curiosity in this area.
I had always known about patents and had discussed the possibility of patenting some of my work during my previous roles. However, it was not pursued due to not being commercially viable. Upon researching the role in more detail, it became apparent that this was an area I wanted to be a part of as it allowed me to have exposure to a vast range of technical fields at a very quick pace.
When did you join Potter Clarkson and why?
Potter Clarkson is a well-regarded IP firm with a good history. After the initial discussion I researched various firms and found that it has a very good training programme. For someone who had been in industry for over 12 years, this was a huge selling point.
It definitely gave me confidence that I would be given adequate support and training to help me get through the training and exams.
What is your area of speciality and why did you choose it?
I am part of the physics, electronics and computing team. I have always been fascinated with understanding how things work and getting to grips with the fundamental aspects of various technologies. Being part of this team affords me access to a range of matters where I can utilise my previous experience, as well as my knowledge gained during university to understand inventions such that I am able to provide suitable advice to clients.
What does a typical day in your role entail and what do you most enjoy about it/find most challenging?
No two days are the same in my role and there is always a new challenge to get my teeth into.
So far I have mainly worked on patent prosecution but have had the opportunity to work on a couple of drafting exercises where we have had to draft an invention after having a client meeting. I am looking forward to having more involvement with drafting work as the role develops.
I find the most challenging aspect of the role is trying to not let time run away from me, as a balance has to be achieved between the amount of time spent as well as the level of detail that needs to be attained.
What has been the highlight of your career at Potter Clarkson so far?
It always gives me a great sense of accomplishment when a response I have written comes back as an intention to grant.
What advice would you give anyone looking to enter the field?
Firstly, I would say that it is never too late to apply for a role in IP. If you like a fast-paced, challenging and rewarding career I would highly recommend looking into becoming a patent attorney. This role also allows you to maintain a sensible work-life balance, especially with the flexible working policies that have been implemented at a firm like Potter Clarkson.