A week in the life of… an in-house patent attorney

If you want to know more about working as an “in-house” patent attorney, as part of an IP team inside a larger company, we can recommend a great article for you.

Susan Chiappinelli is a patent attorney and also the Vice President and Global Head of Pharma Patents and Policy at GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK). She’s written a fictional “diary” to capture the variety and challenge of her role in an in-house IP department.

From an early start on Monday to meet with a project team to discuss what they’ve developed and how to protect it against competitors, to a catching-up day on Friday with the welcome chance to visit the pub for a break, Susan’s is a varied week. There are patent claims to write,  cases to review, presentations to prepare, help and advice to give to colleagues. Some of this is to do with technology and patents, some to do with the names that GSK will use when it sells its new products. A lot of it involves looking at the company’s global strategies. Susan has to balance keeping her own knowledge of the law up to date with helping both technical and commercial team members translate that into practical business decisions.

You can read Susan’s article here. It was first published in the 2021 IP Federation Review; we are grateful to both Susan and the IP Federation for sharing it with us.

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