Haseltine Lake’s trainees share experiences of first 100 days as patent attorneys

07 December 2015

For the past three years, Haseltine Lake has run a Graduate Recruitment Scheme for those finishing university and looking to start their career as a Patent Attorney. Our four newest trainees have been in post since September and have put pen to paper to share their personal experiences of their first 100 days as patent attorneys…

Eamon Robinson, who is a trainee in the Electronics and Communications team, studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. After graduating and before joining Haseltine Lake, he worked as an Engineer at International Rectifier (now Infineon), which is a semiconductor company specialising in high power semiconductor devices. He comments on the HL Graduate Scheme, “There is a comprehensive and well-structured training program for new trainee attorneys. We spend two days a week in classroom-style lessons. The remaining time is spent working on real cases. There is a good balance between classroom time and practical on-the-job learning. It is a very supportive and welcoming environment in the office. Both existing trainees and other staff have been very generous with their time and are happy to help and offer advice. We attended the Haseltine Lake attorney conference a few weeks after starting. It was a great experience to meet the attorneys from the other offices and to learn more about the firm. The work is interesting and varied. I am learning that each client is different and it is important to understand their requirements. We also work with a diverse range of technologies so it is always exciting to start work on a new case as it often means learning about a new technology. There is a strong focus on quality and providing the best service to clients. I expect to work hard, especially for the exams required to qualify as a patent attorney, but the work is interesting and enjoyable and I feel well supported!”

Grace Wood is also trainee in the Electronics and Communications department. She joined Haseltine Lake after completing a Masters degree in Physics by research at the University of Warwick. She says, “My first impression of Haseltine Lake is that it is a very friendly company where everyone is happy to help. It is a very supportive atmosphere where you feel invested in, and people want you to succeed. In my day to day work over the last couple of months I have experienced various aspects of the patenting process from drafting to grant. The work has mainly consisted of responses to examination and search reports, but I have also helped to draft and file patents. My day to day work is supported by the HL Academy, where concepts are studied in more detail. This gives a good overview of the patent process which can then be applied to everyday work. The work is very interesting and varied, with work from a range of areas, and I appreciate the opportunity to use things learnt in my degree whilst gaining new skills.”

Nina Szamocki, a trainee in the Engineering department, has a Master’s degree in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from Cambridge University. She says, “Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. The attorneys are all highly approachable people and I know I could ask for help from anyone! I am constantly learning new things and am enjoying the variety of work across many different fields. I have learned a lot about how patents work, and about new technologies from reading through exciting new inventions. I have so far written draft letters to clients and to the European patent office and have been reading up on lots of patents. I have really enjoyed attending client meetings to discuss their new inventions – it is great to hear about the development of the innovations first hand and it’s fun to get out of the office!”

Brett Landon, a trainee in the Electronics and Communications team at Haseltine Lake, joined the firm after completing a MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham. He adds, “One of the main things that has stood out for me at Haseltine Lake is the welcoming and friendly nature of the firm. There is a great atmosphere around the office and everybody is always more than happy to help. From my very first day I have been learning about how the patent system works through working on real client cases. In addition to on-the-job training, I have attended regular in-house lectures at the HL Academy learning about various areas of intellectual property, which have been invaluable. My work includes tasks such as instructing foreign attorneys, drafting patent claims and responding to Examination Reports. The majority of cases I work on are in the field of electronics and software, so knowing I am putting the skills I learnt during my degree to good use is extremely satisfying. One of my favourite aspects of the profession is being exposed to new ideas and inventions on a regular basis, and dealing with cutting-edge technology almost every day. I also enjoy the process of patent prosecution, which involves reading through documents cited by the Examiner and forming an argument to support the patentability of an application.”

If the trainees’ experiences have tempted you to consider becoming a patent attorney as a career, we look for students who have a background in science or engineering, and successfully completed PhDs in physics, chemistry, life sciences, engineering or electronics, as we believe this gives them the necessary technical expertise to excel across our business teams.

Our next round of graduate recruitment, for positions starting in Autumn 2017, will be unveiled in August 2016 – watch this space for updates!

Susan Gregory

Susan Gregory

HR Manager

Our Expert
Susan Gregory
Susan Gregory
Location: Bristol (UK)

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