Staff Story – Hiro Shimazaki
I had really enjoyed the theoretical side of my degree but I knew quite early on that the practical side, namely research, was not for me. Completing work experience in both scientific and commercial fields made me realise that I wanted to pursue a career where these fields overlap. I came across the patent profession at a careers fair, and having researched the profession in more depth, it seemed like it was right for me. Almost 3 years on, I am very glad that I decided to pursue this career, and especially here at J A Kemp.
For me, the best part of the job is the variety. I have been lucky enough to work on cases spanning a large breadth of technologies, ranging from antibody therapeutics, vaccines, biomarkers, gene therapy to medical devices. My work has been for a range of clients, from small biotech start-ups to global pharmaceutical companies. There is also a large variety of jobs that are undertaken as a patent attorney, which is something that may not be obvious if you are just starting to research the profession. You could be drafting a patent application for an invention that you have just discussed with scientific researchers, attending a hearing at the European Patent Office, or providing arguments and instructions to attorneys in foreign countries for filing at their respective patent offices. Hopefully not all on the same day though!
At J A Kemp, you are well supported throughout the training process. On the first day, each new trainee will be assigned a mentor who oversees your progress and be someone you can go to with any questions. You will likely start off with doing the majority of work with your mentor, but then start to work with different partners. This can be helpful to appreciate the different approaches and strategies that can be applied to particular jobs.
To prepare you for exams, J A Kemp runs in-house tutorials, which are supplemented with external courses. The in-house tutorials are helpfully given by attorneys/trainees who have recently taken, and therefore have up-to-date knowledge of, the exams.
Outside of work, there are regular social events at J A Kemp. There are events organised within the different teams at the firm, as well as firm-wide Christmas and summer parties. As J A Kemp is a relatively large firm, there are plenty of trainees who organise more casual drinks too.
In summary, if you are interested in applying your scientific knowledge to help businesses to obtain protection for their cutting edge technologies, then I would highly recommend applying to train as a patent attorney!