A solid basis of technical knowledge. A keen interest in seeing ideas realized. A drive to defend these ideas as if they were your own. These constitute solid foundations for those seeking to become patent consultants.
“Training to become a patent consultant involves developing the ability to see the big picture and the courage to challenge perceptions. Also, you need to be inquisitive and open,” says Maria Weineisen, a European Patent Attorney who serves as coordinator and lecturer with the Ström & Gulliksson Trainee Programme for new patent consultant hires.
Our newest Engineers Ida Moen Larsson and Georg Wolgast, are enrolled in the trainee programme and have already started to grasp the wide variety of tasks and challenges which patent work entails. Programme coordinator Maria Weineisen was recruited by S&G in autumn 2016 for her broad technical and scientific background in areas such as chemical engineering, organic chemistry, microbiology and immunology.
“Trainees learn a lot during the first weeks of the programme and gain a solid grounding in the patent process. After a while, they realize how incredibly complex patents are,” says Maria.
Over three terms, the trainee programme spans a variety of modules on everything from basic patent law to challenges in complex patent disputes. The trainees are also given the option of taking external courses.
“It’s inspiring to see the trainees’ passion for languages and technology paired with a laser focus on learning patent law,” says Maria.
Don’t be afraid to use 180-degree thinking
Working on the brainchildren of others requires not only substantial legal knowledge in the field of patents, but also vast technical knowledge and an outstanding grasp of language and style. You also need to be a good listener and strongly motivated to contribute to client success.
Each trainee is assigned a mentor and joins a group of patent consultants working in the same fields of technology. These working groups are small in size and the trainees are assigned to work alongside an experienced patent consultant at an early stage. Maria believes that more experienced patent consultants have a great responsibility to foster a workplace climate that is open and supportive. Happy employees who feel secure in their role tend to excel.
“The trainee programme encourages 180-degree thinking. Patents are complex, but if you know what you know for sure, what you might know, what you have a hunch about, and what you don’t know, then you’ll also know when you need to ask for help. You won’t be able to grow or learn if you aren’t secure in your role.”
After completing the programme, trainees will continue their patent law studies and prepare for the European Qualifying Examination (EQE). After passing the examination, they may use the designation European Patent Attorney.