Skip to main content

Career story - Many ways to become a Patent Attorney

Apr 18, 2023

Table of contents

    Berggren is a full-service European IP firm. We provide high-quality, comprehensive and business-oriented services and digital solutions for all areas of intellectual property to help our clients develop the best possible IP strategy.  Berggren is your strategic partner for growth and development of your business.

    Berggren Oy is a full-service intellectual property (IP) law firm. It offers clients expertise in all matters in the field of IP ranging from patents and trademarks to copyright and trade secrets, at all stages of the IP lifecycle. As the scope of their work is so broad, they are constantly looking for new professionals to join their team. This is how four individuals found their way to Berggren – and why they choose to stay there.

    The path to becoming an IP professional is not straightforward. In fact, there are as many paths as there are IP professionals.

    Erika Niemelä has a degree in biomedical engineering and has worked on developing EEG software. Elina Pörsti has degrees in biomedical science and business, and she worked previously as a researcher in the biomedical field. Michael Braun has a Ph.D. in chemistry and Michael Nielsen has a degree in theoretical physics.Berggren-blogi_leikattuNow, they all work in the patents team at Berggren, as patent attorneys or trainee patent attorneys, and are very enthusiastic about how patents and the legislation around them work.

    Each patent attorney or trainee at Berggren has at least two things in common: they are highly educated in a relevant field in technology, natural sciences, or engineering, and they are eager to help clients to understand and use the patent system to their benefit.

    The world of patenting is constantly changing, so each employee at Berggren needs to stay on top of changes in legislation and trends in technology. Berggren has created a mentoring program to help the trainees pass the legal exams needed to qualify as a patent attorney, and to help patent attorneys to continue to develop and keep their knowledge up-to-date.

    Mentoring Makes Development Easier

    Erika and Elina are fairly new to the industry: Elina started in September 2022 and Erika joined Berggren in May 2022 after working in another IP firm for a year and a half.

    When someone enters this field, they need to pass legal exams to qualify as a patent attorney. This is a big task, but Erika feels that having a mentor at this stage is immensely helpful.

    – I have one official mentor, Michael Nielsen, and he is the one I can turn to with whatever I have on my mind. Our relationship is very easy-going and we talk almost daily. I can always ask for help from anyone at the firm that I think has the most knowledge of the matter at hand, says Erika, who is currently preparing for the European Patent Attorney exams. 

    Michael Nielsen is a UK and European Patent Attorney. He has been working in the field for more than ten years. He enjoys his role as a mentor, but also thinks it is crucial to keep on improving his own skills.

    – Whenever you work with somebody else who perhaps does things in a slightly different way to you or looks at things in a slightly different way, you are probably going to learn something. I think that is really useful, Michael explains.

    As a UK Patent Attorney, Michael needs to do at least 16 hours of continuous professional development annually. He says that he always far exceeds the minimum requirements.

    – Things are constantly changing. When I first started we worked with paper files, now it is all done on computers. We are already incorporating different AI tools, and I think that is going to accelerate and continue, he continues.

    Elina works currently as Patent Agent and has been very happy that she has regular meetings with her mentors so she can be certain that they have allocated time for her.

    – As I am very new to the field, I have two mentors. I really look forward to my tutoring sessions with both of them, as that time is reserved for going over any questions I have related to the practicalities of the job, Elina clarifies.

    Peer to Peer Mentoring Enables Personal Growth

    Michael Braun has an extensive list of titles: he is a European Patent Attorney, German Patent Attorney (Patentanwalt), as well as a European Trademark and Design Attorney, and European Patent Litigator. Despite his long list of titles, Michael still wants to constantly improve his skill set.

    – Even after having gained a lot of experience in the patent world, everyone should strive to get better. I think it is very important to keep on tutoring ourselves. Moreover, in order to achieve the best results for our clients and to continuously develop ourselves, we have an intense internal co-operation here at Berggren. Even beyond the daily cooperation, anyone can reach out to a colleague within the firm to get a second opinion or any other sort of help, Braun says.

    Both Michaels, Elina and Erika all agree that working at Berggren enables them endless personal growth.

    – Berggren offers us many ways to keep developing our personal knowledge. That is one of the main reasons why I decided to join the company in the first place: Everyone at the company wants to develop and expand their capabilities, Michael Braun adds.

    Berggren encourages individuals to attend external courses that can help them either to deepen or update their knowledge or to pass upcoming qualification exams. Furthermore, internal training sessions are constantly being organized where new developments in law and practice are shared.

    – Berggren has offered us the best training possibilities available. The learning curve in this profession is very steep – and learning takes place during your whole career, Erika explains.

    Excellent Work Culture

    Michael Braun is very pleased with how the high degree of professionalism and the supportive atmosphere at Berggren helps everyone to provide excellent results and to develop.

    – I think the support and positive feedback are very helpful. To me, the working atmosphere between colleagues at Berggren is very positive and supportive. I think that for most people, feeling comfortable at the workplace has a positive effect on the quality of the work, Braun tells.

    Both Michael Braun and Michael Nielsen started at Berggren in January 2022, and are happy that they did.

    – There is an excellent synergy between the needs of our clients and the expertise of our professionals and attorneys. I am happy and also a bit proud to have an impact on this synergy and to contribute to both our clients’ and the firm’s success, Braun describes.

    – At no point have I wondered whether I made the right decision to join. It has been clear from the first day that this was the right choice for me, Michael Nielsen summarizes his time at Berggren.

    Erika and Elina have also had a very pleasing start at Berggren.

    – I had a very warm welcome to Berggren. When I started and was at the office, people seeked me just to say hello. This felt very nice especially because many people work a lot from home, but still wanted to say hi to me face to face, Elina reminisces.

    – I am excited about the future. I already get to do meaningful work, but I highly look forward to working more closely with customers and developing relations with them. I consider myself a geek and very interested in technology and everything related to it. I love to be among the first people to see new inventions and help inventors protect their inventions, Erika concludes passionately.

    We are looking for new Patent professionals to join our team (Patent attorney trainee), read more from webpages and see the open positions:

    Stay up to date with IP news

    Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest articles.