My advice for young people starting out in intellectual property is to keep up with creativity. IP moves with advancements in industry on a global scale, so it is important to have a real interest in technology, how things work and how the world is evolving.
To work in intellectual property, you need to understand two things - that creation has a value and that it takes a lot of work to create something new. You must want to assist people with their own ideas, be willing and able to help people, and create opportunities to solve problems. An understanding of people and consumers is key - context, targeting and objectives are all essential to deliver the best service for clients.
Intellectual property professionals are part of a niche, global team. As an IP practitioner, you work for a firm and within a team, but you are part of something much bigger. Brands do not have boundaries - we work with people from all across the globe, their local legal nuances and bespoke requirements. Brands are entrenched in almost every aspect of our lives and you become a key part making that so.
Someone recently asked me what are the necessary skills to pursue a career in IP. First, you need an open mind and a desire to keep learning. It is important to realise that working in IP, you are part of something which is always moving and you need the desire to stay at the forefront of technology and the law. Imagination is something I always come back to when talking about careers in intellectual property. You need to couple it with communication to navigate your way around arguments or disputes, and be able to use data and information creatively to your advantage.
You have heard the cliche that “no two days are the same here”. With a career in IP, this is actually true. The diversity of client base, technology evolving every day and working with people from across the world give variety it is difficult to find in other careers. If you asked me for the downsides, I would say that sometimes limitations within the law can prevent rightful holders from taking the action they wish to against parties which wrong them. In a world of huge brands and millions of pounds, protecting the underdog can be quite difficult, but that is why we do the job. The satisfaction we get from helping people bring their ideas to life is immense.
At Keltie, there is no process of ‘easing in’ new starters, no bedding in or filtering of projects - you hit the ground running. Everyone within our firm is an IP professional from their first day and they are with us on merit. Our hands on approach to new starters is well regarded within the industry.
We love to recognise the achievements and development of our staff at Keltie. We are built upon a core value that we all learn, progress and achieve together. This togetherness and teamwork is something we want to make abundantly clear to our client’s too.
If you think a career in IP might be for you, get in touch with us today and start your journey.
The profession moves with the speed of change in technology. Therefore, there is no doubt that IP law will not look the same in ten years as it does now, just as it looks different to five years ago. What will not change though, is the value of an IP practitioner as an asset to any business - protecting, managing and enforcing commercial rights will always remain critical to success. The method of delivery of those services may become more streamlined and innovate but the input on strategies will always exist.
It is often said that in the future, automation and AI could attempt to replicate some roles or functions of IP professionals. However, I always ask who protects the work involved in the automation process? There will always be a step one in any automatic process or means of innovation requiring someone or something to solve a problem. In addition, there will always be a need for multiple providers of services or goods to meet consumer demands.
Whether for financial or philanthropic purposes, people will continue to create and innovate to solve problems faced across the world, and whilst the profession may look different in the future, there will always be a need for IP practitioners.
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