Tag:  “trainee programme”  | (13) posts

Courage – a child’s game

I’ve eaten scorpions, mountaineered in hard conditions in the Swiss Alps and even hosted a full kindergarten party in my living room, but that doesn’t make me courageous. As a child, I used to be braver. Children show courage! The child naturally tries new things and fails, laughs, tries again and fails, cries, imitates others, follows advice (at least sometimes), then tries again and succeeds.

Awapatent acknowledges this in their trainee program. The didactic approach is pragmatic – all topics are approached with a business perspective to provide the best IP solutions for our clients. In a period of seven months, engineering graduates with diverse backgrounds are trained in IP, intellectual property; patent law, patent applications drafting, licensing, litigation etc.

The schedule is dense, the workload heavy, numerous assignment deadlines to meet, but the atmosphere reflects openness and warmth. Theory and practice are carefully interwoven to provide time for reflection and practice. Among questions and comments, there is passion in the air.

The trainee program gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new skills in relation to intellectual property. Time is well spent and the learning curve steep! I strongly recommend it, if you have a child’s courage…

Ulf Håkansson, Associate (Trainee 2012)

Apply to our trainee programme starting in September 2014. Read more.

 

Over n’ Out

The trainee program is over and the twelve of us who started more than seven months ago have spent some time out in the offices getting a feel of what this trade is all about. With at least a few years of experience from research and development work at excellent companies I would like to claim that my previous experience allows me to state that being a patent attorney is a trade dissimilar to a vast majority of engineering jobs that are out on the market. There is a particular skill set required, which makes it very difficult to practice this trade if you figuratively were to be dropped behind enemy lines, as is sometimes the case in engineering. This trade requires not only engineering skills and knowledge of patent law and convention, but also the difficult knowledge of how to put this into better practice, something which is not suitable for learning as you go along. Indeed, the challenge is that there are so many possible modes of practice and that the result of a practitioner’s labor will be put to test by skilled opponents who will deliberately and thoroughly search for any weaknesses.

The trainee program contains the building blocks for a solid foundation of this skill set. A lot of hard work has been required to absorb the knowledge and to deliver the tasks given to us. And several late evenings were spent hammering out texts that would be closely scrutinized by our experienced senior attorneys. Quite similar to how carefully apprentices’ work are reviewed by masters of a trade.

With a long and rigorous education I feel confident that Awapatent has provided us with a solid enough base to take some pride in our work and I think that this is proved by the realization that in the last theory period I learned as much from the thoughts and comments of my fellow trainees as from our senior colleagues.

Peter Kollegger, Associate

The beginning of a new journey

The trainee program has come to an end, but unlike most endings it is not the end, but a beginning. Namely the beginning of a new journey to become skilled patent attorneys. I have come to understand, that this is not something that will happen over night. I am however confident that on each and every day of this journey I will learn something new, which will take me one step closer. It will give me knowledge and new insights in the field of IP and especially in the world of patents. Personally, I will look on tasks with curious eyes and at the same time I will strive to do my best and keep my head up high. Luckily, patience is something I have and I also have a sincere drive and ambition to someday become an expert.

Right now I am looking forward to the Gothenburg office’s annual ski trip to Hemsedal, which takes place this weekend. This will be a great opportunity to better get to know my colleagues and to strengthen our team spirit. I believe the team spirit will help us on the way to reach our goals.

Hanna Engqvist, Associate

From theory to practice – a trainee’s perspective

Although we have only scratched the surface of the complex patent world comprising “Patent Law Theory”, “Patent Application Procedure and Examination”, “Technology Licensing”,  “Litigation Practice” etc. it was boosting to come home and apply at least some of the knowledge we have gained during the trainee courses. The shifts between intensive trainee courses and home office practice seem to form an ideal bridge to quickly learn to do client work.

Since September 2012 the learning curve on intellectual property law has been steep but we have also been taught a great deal about ourselves: who we are, or rather who we are becoming. Personally, I have a longer background in research before starting as a trainee at Awapatent and I must say I am surprised to realize how sudden I have adapted to the IP culture. Hence, the conversion from one way of working to another has been surprisingly straightforward. Also, the IP theory may be difficult to comprehend and apply but now the light at the end of the tunnel is appearing. This, I ascribe the bridging between theory and practice.

Although we are all eager to become great patent attorneys I believe it is important to remember “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

In other words, the process of converting theory in to practice I believe is key to become a successful qualified patent attorney.

Helle Friis Svenstrup, Awapatent Trainee

A patent application for a trainee unit of patent knowledge

To: Awapatent IP Blog

Re: Patent Application

Background of the invention

Two periods of heavy patent theory have passed, and during that time we as trainees have gained a lot of insight into the world of patenting. If the patent world should be compared to another world, I would think that the world of quibblers would be quite suitable. Through the trainee program we have experienced how discussions might arise due to different wording in, for example, a patent claim, and how an outcome of an oral proceeding might be based on this. Therefore, the strength given to the patent by co-operating with co-workers, having different views on the various aspects, is of great importance.

Summary

Based on this, it is the objective of the present invention to provide an office, comprising at least three trainees, at least three desks, at least one chair, and maybe at least one (dead) plant, wherein said at least three trainees are placed at each of said at least three desks, where on each of said three desks a computer is attached, thereby forming a trainee unit of patent knowledge.

By this invention it is believed that a faster communication route and broader knowledge for the trainees is obtained, giving the best environment for learning, in that silly questions might be answered without disturbing other colleagues.

Submitted to the Awapatent IP Blog on 11 January 2013. Awaiting search report from the examiner.

Susanne Rytter Christoffersen, Associate

“There and back again” – a trainee’s tale

Time flies, three intense weeks of theoretical training went by very quickly. We have had the opportunity to learn more about trademarks, infringement and opposition. Analyzing claims from a different perspective – as when to file an opposition – was a very enlightening task. Arguing why a claim should not be valid instead of the opposite differed from what we were used to, and we made some mistakes apparently. We have had training sessions for claim and application drafting where we had many great and intriguing discussions with feedback from our tutors. A short visit to Copenhagen and the office there was very enjoyable, where we amongst other things learnt that Awapatent wrote Danish patent number 38 for Rudolf Diesel on the diesel engine. It became apparent to me that our business both has a long history and is at the cutting edge of technology.

By now all the trainees are back at their home offices; after the three weeks of theoretical training it is exciting to be back and try to apply everything we have learnt.

Linus Eklund, Associate

Further theoretical training

An intense first practice period of the trainee program has ended, and what seems to be an even more intense second period of theoretical training has started. Only the first week so far and already we have covered new topics like for example presentations of the EPO and new aspects of Swedish patent law and also continued with further studies of topics recognized from out first theory period, like IP-language and application drafting. The first week has also included a client visit.

After five weeks of practice, making our first attempts to apply what we have learned so far, with the support and guidance of our supervisors, I think we are all eager to once again work on our theoretical knowledge. This time around, compared to our first theory period which for most of us was our first encounter with the world of IP-work, I think the future practical applications of the training are a bit clearer to all of us. This brings new perspectives to the classroom training and also makes some of the topics treated somewhat more approachable! And besides the challenging IP-tuition, after five weeks at our respective offices of Awapatent during the practice period, it is nice to get back together and gain an insight into everyone’s different experiences so far.

Lovisa Rogne, Associate

Elementary, my dear Watson

When reading a novel the other day, I came across a statement by a consulting detective. What one man can invent another can discover.” (Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Dancing Men) Having newly entered the IP world, I began to wonder if Holmes would actually qualify as a patent consultant. 

Let’s start by listing a few qualities of a full-blood IP consultant, identified by someone having just spent the first couple of weeks at his home office. It should be safe to state that a consultant would need at least one of the following qualities; logic reasoning, technical knowledge, language skills, and last but not least business skills.

Now to Holmes. His deductive and logic powers are widely known, and like Watson recalls in A Study in Scarlet Holmes has profound knowledge of chemistry as well as good practical knowledge of British law. We learn that Holmes knows German, French, and Latin so providing him with ‘Swedish for Beginners’ together with ‘Introduction to Swedish Law’ should do the job. Finally, let’s consider one of his own accounts: It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” (A Case of Identity) Surely a good mind set for dissecting an IP problem.

We may conclude that Holmes indeed would be suitable as an IP consultant and for all of us following the patent path there is much to learn about sound reasoning and tactics from Watsons accounts of the triumphs of the consulting detective.  Perhaps a novel or two should be compulsory reading and just like The Annotated European Patent Convention be found on every IP consultant’s bookshelf. But then again, how hard can it be really. “I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee.(Sherlock Holmes, Baker’s Bread)

Ulf Håkansson, Associate

IP Law – How hard can it be?

My trainee colleagues and I are now in the final stage of our first 5-week theory period. So many new impressions, new colleagues and new information have opened up for us, revealing an exciting new world of IP law.

When I first applied for the Trainee program, I had very little knowledge of the many facets of IP law and of how many different competencies I would need. Not only do you need to have technical ingenuity, but also an eye for the small details and the bigger picture, quick thinking and excellent people skills.

Even though we have been here only for a short while, all of these sides have already been put to the test, and to answer my own question: Yes, IP law is hard!

It involves a whole new way of thinking where the questions, unlike in many of my university courses, do not have any clear answers. Where each word have to be given careful consideration and every choice have longtime consequences. But it is also a great mystery that only my skills and I can solve. Together we embark on this great new adventure, in which I already feel a bit like a detective. Whether it is finding the perfect word for a specific sentence (who knew that consists of and comprises could mean so different things?), defining the essential feature of a new invention or discovering the specific detail that will make my office action response irrefutable.

I am positive that IP law and all of us trainees have a great future ahead of us. And dear IP law, you did not have me at hello, but you had me at Michael Jacksons Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusions patent.

Bianca Bothmann, Associate

Ideal conditions to learn about the world of IP

The first theory period of the trainee programme is coming to an end. It has been intensive weeks filled with lectures, but also with social activities such as the annual crayfish party at the Gothenburg office. Since the trainee programme started in the beginning of September we have visited Awapatent’s offices  in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and, most recently, the office in Linköping on a one-day-trip from Stockholm.

After many years at university I thought I finally had finished school once and for all. Now, only two years later, I am finding myself back in the class room again, learning quite different things from what I have been studying before. The IP world is new for most of us and for sure there is much to learn. We will have several years of hard work and studies ahead of us. However, as trainees we are given ideal conditions for succeeding with this task since, in my opinion, being a trainee must be the best way of starting a new job. Quite fast you get an overview of both the field which you will work within as well as of the company, and not to forget, you meet a lot of colleagues from the different offices.

During these first weeks, time has flown as it usually does when you have fun and a lot of things to do. I am now looking forward to the weeks at the home office to get some time to practice what we have learnt so far.

Elin Carlegrim, Associate