Day in the Life – Thomas Kennelly

November 2020

Day in the Life – Thomas Kennelly

Arriving at the office before nine, I like to start the day with a coffee whilst I check my diary for tasks that need to be completed that day and any meetings that I may need to prepare for.

One of the things I like most about my role is the varied workload it provides. I can be reviewing, and preparing a response to, documents that have come back from an Examiner at a patent office or getting to grips with some new technology. Whatever it is, no two days are the same.

I’ll always pick out the tasks that are most urgent or have an impending deadline to tackle first. Once those have been sorted, it’s on with the necessary tasks. Today I need to give details of a new filing I’m putting together for an invention. This involves me applying my technical knowledge to get to grips with the drawings and inventive concept relating to the invention.

Once that has been done, I’ll contact a draughtsman we work with as I’ll need to obtain technical drawings for a new product/technology for which we will be filing a new patent application. I’m also currently working on drafting some claims for the filing. Together, along with a written description of the technology, these will form a draft patent application for the client to review. I’m lucky working at Secerna as I get a lot of exposure to this process, I suspect much more so than those in my position at some other firms. The partners, Jason and Charlotte, are proactive in ensuring that trainees gain as much exposure to a wide range of clients, products and claims as possible to help us become well rounded patent attorneys.

If possible, I’ll always try to leave the office for lunch with a couple of the others from the team. We have a great team spirit at Secerna and it’s always nice to catch up with colleagues, share how our days are going and take our minds off work for a little while during the day.

Once back at my desk I have some objections raised by an Examiner for a pending patent application to review and respond to. On original filings, it is important to initially be as broad as possible with the language used. This allows us to argue any points that come back from an Examiner in prosecution and amend to use narrower language if necessary to ensure that we obtain a patent that is useful to the client.

This afternoon I need to break away from reviewing these objections after an hour or so as I have a teleconference with a client, where they will share details of a new invention and how it works. We are also discussing an ongoing opposition for another patent right for that same client. We discuss this, and the upcoming hearing, so we can work on a strategy that aims to result in a favourable outcome for the client. This is a side of the business that I feel particularly lucky to be involved in, as I suspect that many trainees do not get the opportunity to be involved in opposition proceedings.

The day finishes with me reviewing some recent decisions that have passed so that I have a good understanding of what is going on in the industry and can give the best advice possible to our clients.

With professional exams coming up, I leave the office and head home to do some revision and to relax after the working day.

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