Greg Iceton, Physics with Astrophysics (2007)

Degree:  Physics with Astrophysics BSc (2.1)
Year Graduated: 2007
Current Employment: Technical Assistant at Dehns in Munich, Germany

What are your main responsibilities in your current job?

As a Trainee Patent Attorney (Technical Assistant), I specialise in drafting patent applications for various companies and filing these to patent offices (UK and European).  After filing, we handle all prosecution of the patents up to grant, at which point we can advise on how to maximise protection post-grant.  Main responsibilities include attending hearings before patent examiners to determine whether a patent application meets legal requirements to be granted, meeting with clients to discuss the inventive concept of their products, and corresponding with various associates worldwide to discuss chances of success of getting a granted patent in countries outside the EU.

Which skills are important for your job?

Understanding the scientific and technical descriptions of patents is essential (however, this comes with experience on the job). A 2.1 degree is usually necessary to enter into the profession.  After about 4-5 years, Technical Assistants take the advanced legal examinations in order to become a registered patent attorney. 

What are the highlights of your job?

 A major highlight of the job is using my scientific knowledge to protect peoples' inventive ideas.  Bridging science and law has allowed me to enter into a career that keeps me up to date with both subjects. The hours are unlike other legal professions, and a typical working day is from 9am - 5pm.  Travel may be required as you gain more experience as most of the hearings take place here in Munich.  For me, understanding complex inventions that use physics gives me great satisfaction.

How did you find your current job?

Notice Board in the physics department at Keele University.

Does your employer have a graduate recruitment scheme? we usually take about 4 – 5 trainees a year to join our offices in either Oxford, Brighton, London or Munich.