Jen L.

Director, Intellectual Property
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Jen L.
Chemistry, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals
United Kingdom

My employment

Director, Intellectual Property
Kymab Ltd
United Kingdom
Healthcare / Science and research
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)

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A day in the life of a Director, Intellectual Property in the United Kingdom

In-House Patent Attorney (Pharmacuetical Industry)

What I do

Prosecute and file patent applications, review agreements, conduct freeedom to operate analyses and advise business on IP opportunities and risks.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Patent Law (that's a 3 year post-graduate training thing!)
Organisational skills (managing deadlines) - always been a stickler for lists, so it fits with that part of my personality
Attention for detail - I know most jobs say attention to detail - but it's really crucial here - missing something could cost your company millions of pounds! Again, this fits with my personailty, but you also learn techniques on the job to help you with this.
Written Communication - a real need to be able to communicate difficult scientific topics in a clear and concise way to others, and to persuade them to your way of thinking. This one came with training, feedback and practice.
Verbal communication - being able to advise the business of risks, often telling them things that they don't necessarily want to hear. I have found this most difficult and have a coach to help and reguklar feedback.

What I like most

Managing my time and dealing with a number of different topics and still learning science every day. Contentious proceedings and court is also really fun!

What I like least

Drafting patent applications and doing freedom to operate searches

What surprised me most

How much I love the job - I wouldn't do anything else. Never wanted to be a patent attorney, but fell into it when no one would give me a job in the lab!

How I looked for work

This job, I was headhunted - but previous job I found online. It was a tedious process with 4 rounds of interviews and assessments

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

My career goals when I graduated

Become a Doctor, not much beyond that! Once I had my PhD, I was really stumped as to what to do. Didn't have a lot of success looking for lab work (PhD too biological, whereas undergrad was Chemistry, so wasn't good enough at PhD level for either subject!). Thought about retraining as a vet.

My career history

PhD, 2002-2006
GSK in-house patent attorney 2007-2014 (UK and European qualifications gained in 2010)

Courses taken since graduation

PhD (Cambridge, Christ's College), Biological Chemistry 2002-2006
Queen Mary diploma in Intellectual Property, 2008
European Qualifying Exams 2010
Chartered Institue of Patent Attorneys Exams 2010

How my studies have helped my career

You can't become a patent attorney unless you have a 3 year technical degree - and yes they do check!

My advice about working in my industry

Its quite tricky to get into, so if you can get any work experience, or get yourself part-qualified, then that will really help

Next steps...

If you like the look of Jen’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Jen a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Jen to be your mentor.

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