A patent attorney acquires and imposes intellectual property rights on the behalf of organisations or individuals. Patent attorney jobs are typically only available to graduates. Patent attorney jobs are found in private companies or large manufacturers. Find out more about how to become a patent attorney in the UK.
The role of the patent attorney
Patent attorneys, also referred to as patent agents, decide whether or not inventions are new. Inventions determined to be ‘new’ are then eligible to be patented.
Carry through applications Patent attorneys create and carry through applications to enable patents to be secured. It is the job of the government to grant patents and provide inventors with the right to prevent commercial use of their invention by other companies for a limited time period. Enforces inventor's rights
A patent attorney enforces an inventor’s rights if a patent happens to be infringed.
Skills required for patent attorney jobs
Express technical ideas Prospective patent attorneys must understand scientific and technological processes and principles. They must express technical ideas in a clear and concise manner. A keen eye Patent attorneys are required to have a keen eye for details. They must possess excellent communication skills and be willing to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds. Work independently Patent attorneys are required to work independently and as a part of a large team when required. They must be willing to understand legal arguments and be prepared to structure precise, coherent arguments in their role.
Training to become a patent attorney
Degree holder To work as a patent attorney, a degree is usually required. This degree may be in science, engineering or a relevant technical subject. A high degree classification is required. It is not usually possible to become a patent attorney with a HND qualification. Note A postgraduate qualification is not required for patent attorney jobs. However, some patent attorneys do hold postgraduate qualifications. Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) To become a patent attorney, it is essential to successfully pass the exams set by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). A prospective patent attorney must complete a minimum of two years’ practice as a patent attorney. Once these two requirements have been met, an individual is eligible to be included on the Register of Patent Agents. They can then apply for patent attorney jobs. Some UK universities offer a Postgraduate Certificate or MSc in Intellectual Property Law. These qualifications may offer an exemption from several of the foundation Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) exams.