In Your Shoes - Steven SuèrAll members Next: Elma Mackay
Steven Suèr is a Director of Murgitroyd, the patent and trade mark specialists, and is based in their Aberdeen office. Steven lives in the Dundee and Angus region, and is currently in a static caravan with his wife, two children and their sproodle dog while they build a house! Steven is delighted to give others an insight into the day-to-day life of a patent and trade mark attorney, a profession where the legal and technical meet.
FROM DIGGING TO DESIGNSMonday 19 November 2018
My weekend involved finishing foundations for the garage and preparing timber frames for the walls. Hence my body is aching from working in ways it hasn’t for a while and so going to work is physically a break!
Once in the office, I look through my list of more urgent tasks and start on an interesting mix of patents and designs work. The patent work concerns reviewing a family of inter-related patent applications filed around the world for a large multinational corporation, whilst the design work relates to extending the European design protection of one of my smaller UK client’s designs to the US, to protect an expanding US market for their goods. The diversity of the work in Murgitroyd keeps you on your toes and the combination of business, engineering and law means the job is always interesting and challenging.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURETuesday 20 November 2018
Of note today, I ran an in-house tutorial for our trainee attorneys who are sitting the European Patent Attorney qualifying examinations. In this respect, I recently took over running of the training programme for the various trainee attorneys taking exams (four of these, Jamie Thomson, William Clarke, Andy Caulfield and Helen Lavery, are pictured here along with Murgitroyd’s 2017 Innovator Launchpad competition winner Michael Harkins, in the centre).
We always have a number of attorneys from Murgitroyd’s different offices around Europe sitting various examinations and it is important that they each have support getting through the rigorous examination process.
Following the tutorial, I paid a visit with a colleague to a leading local law firm by way of an introduction. It is important to meet people with whom you work regularly, particularly as so much more can come out of face-to-face meetings.
HOMEWORK – WITH A LITTLE HELP!Wednesday 21 November 2018
I was working from home today. Murgitroyd has a really progressive approach in this respect as many staff work from home on a regular basis. For me, this allows me to avoid the commute into the office and to dedicate myself to an involved piece of work without interruption, in this case drafting a patent application. It also allows our sproodle (pictured) to fulfil a much needed role of foot warmer, as I work sitting in the static caravan with the horizontal sleet battering against the window.
The draft patent application is going well, but I notice a request from a colleague in Newcastle for some advice on a design issue. Having a fair amount of experience in protecting designs, I offer my help and we discuss options to best assist the client. Often, just the process of explaining an issue to a colleague helps to resolve the situation.
SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURSThursday 22 November 2018
This morning I met with a client concerning an intellectual property audit we are carrying out for them. The client came out of the Elevator programme, a social enterprise of which Murgitroyd is a proud partner, in Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen, supporting business start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The enthusiasm and drive coming from participants of the programme is infectious and I cannot recommend highly enough getting involved. This is particularly so as our role involves not only intellectual property but also how this interrelates to business strategy and development.
Murgitroyd is currently running the 2018 Innovator Launchpad competition, supporting early stage entrepreneurs. You can vote for the winner now at facebook.com/innovatorlaunchpad (pictured is the Autumn 2018 winner of the competition, Dundee’s Michael Harkins of Turtle Pack).
TRADE MARK FOCUSFriday 23 November 2018
The A90 had a few problems this morning and so I was a little delayed getting in, though nothing compared to the congestion I used to encounter on the M25 around London!
Whilst I trained and qualified as both a patent and trade mark attorney, more recently the disciplines have been split so that those who do both are considered to be dinosaurs! The majority of my work at Murgitroyd is patent and design work, but I like to keep up to speed with trade marks and today one of my oldest clients contacts me with a pressing issue.
Trade mark issues tend to move quickly and so a “letter before action” is required promptly. After a quick confirmatory discussion with one of my fellow trade mark directors, a course of action is decided upon. This reiterates how every day is different and how suddenly the tempo can change.