Sam Piper, a University of East Anglia student, has had an interest in Intellectual Property (IP) management since his involvement with Biotechnology Yes as an undergraduate. Biotechnology Yes, now in its 22nd year, is an innovative competition developed to raise awareness of the commercialisation of ideas among early career researchers. Sam spoke with Stratagem IPM at the PIPS Employer Forum and felt that, considering his interest in IP, an internship with them would be a good match. Sam choose to complete his internship in his second year as it fitted in well with his PhD research schedule.
During his internship, Sam was involved with all aspects of the processes involved in managing IP applications, including working with clients to draft the first application, responding to correspondence, investigating ‘freedom to operate’ queries from clients, through to the final approval, validation and then future divisional applications. Sam enjoyed the drafting most of all but also found responding to search and examination reports very interesting. After his time with Stratagem IP, Sam felt that he had a deeper understanding of the entire process of applying for and obtaining IP rights. A representative from Stratagem explained that Sam’s scientific background was also of great value to their attorneys.
Sam gained several new skills during his internship. He stated that his written communication skills had developed and that, with appropriate feedback, he adapted well to the different writing style that was needed to draft an IP application. During work on patent prosecution Sam also had the opportunity to develop his problem-solving skills and now has a much better understanding of research commercialization.
Sam left his internship with a better understanding of how this sector works and the broader environment in which it operates. It has enabled him to understand the strategic issues faced and what is involved in operating within a successful business. As a result of his time with Stratagem Sam is now considering becoming a patent attorney.
Reflecting on his internship, Sam is positive about his time Stratagem. His advice to future PIPS students is to try to find something at your internship that you can have responsibility for and follow through with over the entire three months.