The Spice of Life

July 2020

The Spice of Life

What led you into a career in IP law?

Following roles as a litigation secretary and in personal injury, I moved into a role at an international patent and trademark consultancy, where I spent several years learning about the variation of patents, trademarks, and designs. At the time, part of my role was typing specifications, which meant that I saw innovations coming through from the engineering, chemical and bio industries. I found these innovations fascinating and it encouraged me to follow this route further. I completed my CIPA Patent Administration Course and, following on from that, spent over ten years as part of a formalities team for a firm in York.

What brought you to Secerna?

I knew of the partners, Charlotte and Jason, and was aware of a couple of patent attorney colleagues who had been for interviews at the firm. After ten years with the same firm, I thought it was a good time for a change of scenery. Moving to a new role is a big decision, but I had heard good things about Secerna: a fast-growing business with a friendly and approachable team and so I took the plunge. During my four years of service to date, I can confirm that those perceptions of Secerna were right.

What is the best thing about your job?

No two days are the same, and I really enjoy that. I also like the culture of the firm. It’s very open, and Charlotte and Jason are, too. Their doors are always open if we have questions to ask, and we are encouraged to ask them.

What does a typical day look like?

My role involves looking after diaries, managing the renewals process, checking and occasionally preparing applications that are due to be filed, validations and corresponding with clients and foreign attorneys. It is a very mixed and varied role, which I love. I get to work closely with both the patent attorneys and the support team within the firm to help keep projects on track. A typical day will usually involve a mix of all these things.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in IP?

Intellectual property industry is a very enjoyable and rewarding industry to work in. To be successful, you need to enjoy your work and know your field well. The ability to prioritise and manage your workload is key, as this environment is very deadline-driven, and deadlines come around so quickly. You should also be prepared to be on the clock a lot of the time. When you’re working internationally, and dealing with global time zones, you need to be in tune with those time zones so that you don’t miss filing deadlines. There are no second chances in IP.

What interests you outside work?

I have a couple of horses, which are my main hobby, and I play polo, although tournaments in certain areas have been put on hold this year due to COVID-19. I also enjoy clay-pigeon shooting. Recently, I have discovered running, when a friend who is a runner persuaded me to do the Couch to 5k. I started during lockdown and now I am running three times a week. I’m really enjoying it and now it’s become part of my routine.

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