My feed

to access all these features


I’m a patent attorney - AMA

11 replies

OublietteBravo · 21/07/2018 18:11

I’m a patent attorney (after a career change).

I work in-house for a multinational - so I obviously won’t be giving details about anything commercially sensitive or confidential.

Ask away...

OP posts:
SenecaFalls · 21/07/2018 18:13

Do you have a scientific or engineering background?

OublietteBravo · 21/07/2018 18:16

Yes - I have a chemistry degree, a biochemistry PhD and I was a research scientist prior to retraining.

OP posts:
JammyTodger · 21/07/2018 20:27

I'm married to a patent attorney. He says the job is 99% tedium. I do much of his admin and tend to agree. Do you?

OublietteBravo · 21/07/2018 20:45

I don’t agree - mostly my job is anything but tedious. Although some of the gatekeeping meetings are (especially when there is extensive pre-reading written in marketing-speak).

But possibly this is because we have a significant number of patent administrators who deal with this side of things on my behalf, so I generally only get involved with administrative matters when something out of the ordinary crops up.

At the moment there seems to be a lot of opposition and freedom to operate work associated with my portfolio - which is rather fun.

OP posts:
OublietteBravo · 21/07/2018 20:54

Plus I get to farm out a certain amount of the run of the mill stuff - I imagine this reduces the tedium quotient quite significantly.

OP posts:
JammyTodger · 21/07/2018 22:25

An that's good to hear. I think he's just been doing it too long now. We work with some really interesting and unique inventors which make it slightly more e ntertaining.

tedx · 22/07/2018 08:54

Sorry but what actually is a patent attorney? Describe a typical day at the office!

Chocrock · 22/07/2018 09:05

Is that the same as a Trade Mark lawyer?

OublietteBravo · 22/07/2018 12:31

Patents and Trade Marks are different types of intellectual property. Some people deal with both - although most don’t and have usually only passed either patent exams or trade mark exams. I’m only qualified as a patent attorney.

OP posts:
OublietteBravo · 22/07/2018 12:47

Patents are a negative property right. They give you the right to stop someone doing something (but they do not automatically give you the right to do it). They protect inventions and provide a monopoly for a limited term (up to 20 years).

My job is to write the document which will provide this protection. A patent application is both a technical and a legal document. So I have to understand what has been invented, how it is different from what is already known and then generalise the concept to get the broadest scope of protection which is feasible. I also need to correspond with the patent office to overcome objections and get the patent granted. This might involve making amendments to the application - the original document must contemplate these amendments as you can’t add anything extra after filing.

I also deal with freedom to operate. This is where I try and make sure that a new product doesn’t infringe any patents belonging to other people. If I identify any problematic patents, then I assess whether or not they are valid (not every granted patent is valid).

I’m not sure I have a ‘typical’ day. I have a diary list which I have to keep on top of. This is a list of all the objections raised by various patent offices and the deadline for responding to them. So I check that more or less daily.

I also meet with R&D scientists to try and understand what they are working on, how we might protect it and what experiments they need to do to support a patent application.

Sometimes I go to hearings at the patent office to argue my case (usually either why my granted patent is valid and should be maintained or why a competitors patent is invalid and should be revoked). This can be fun and you get a decision in ‘real time’, but you need to do a lot of preparation beforehand and be totally on top of the case.

OP posts:
Whackaguacamole · 27/02/2019 20:45

Old thread but I'm interested!

How much does it cost to get a patent? Are you much more expensive than DIY routes? I assume so!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.