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Matthew Feuer in profile

Matthew Feuer in profile

Team news Careers 30/01/2024

Trainee Patent Attorney Matthew Feuer


1. Why did you choose a job in this sector?

Towards the end of my PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge, I started to investigate options other than continuing with a career in academia. I wanted a role that would allow me to continue to use my scientific knowledge and experience while also focussing on the commercial applications of new technologies. After some research, I decided that a career focussed on intellectual property would suit what I was looking for and would also provide a perfect fit for my skills.

2. How did you get your job at Secerna?

I first saw the advert for a job at Secerna on the IPCareers website. The firm immediately appealed due to its size, allowing for exposure to all aspects of the job and ability to learn directly from senior attorneys, along with its global client base. In addition, Secerna’s HQ location in York attracted my interest as York is a city that I could see myself settling in. I applied with my CV and cover letter, and they promptly responded with an invitation to interview.

3. What was the application process like – any advice?

I thoroughly researched the IP career on the IPCareers website to gain an understanding of what the job and application process would involve. I also ensured that I tailored my CV to highlight the relevant skills for the intellectual property profession and adapted my cover letter to suit the individual firm. My interview at Secerna involved exploring my background and motivation for applying, along with technical questions to evaluate my skills and aptitude for the job.

I would advise talking about what the job involves with anyone you know who is involved in the profession and also making use of all the resources available on IPCareers, to ensure you fully understand if the career would suit you. Additionally, make sure there are no mistakes in your CV or cover letter, as attention to detail is a key aspect of the job!

4. What are your main duties/roles?

While I am still within my first 6 months at Secerna, I have been involved in various aspects of the job right from the start. The main duties include assisting with patent prosecution, such as preparing responses to official communications from patent offices. Alongside this, I have already had exposure to client meetings and researched different areas of technology and patent law to aid the senior attorneys. The variety in day-to-day jobs and the responsibility at such an early stage have ensured it has been an enjoyable start to my career!

5. Is it a 9-5 job?

The job is largely 9-5, although the nature of the job means that there can be exceptions to meet urgent deadlines. In addition, when I get to the stage of taking the exams then I’ll be revising within my own time. However, Secerna offers hybrid and flexible working as standard and are always supportive in maintaining a good working environment.

6. What skills are useful in this sector/profession?

In addition to the technical skills developed throughout a STEM degree, the profession requires good communication skills and attention to detail in order to effectively and accurately communicate with clients, colleagues and patent offices. The job also requires strong self-motivation and time management in order to meet strict deadlines.

7. What would you like to achieve in the future?

After passing the exams required to become a qualified patent attorney in both the UK and Europe, I would hope to continue learning and developing my skills as a patent attorney.

8. Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?

My key advice is to do plenty of research into what the career would involve, including utilising the online advice available and talking to those in the industry. In addition, schemes such as the Secerna taster day can offer good insights into the industry and life as a patent attorney before you commit to applying to jobs.