I want to know
where they work
What do they do?
Where do they work?
What do they earn?
How many are there?
What do I need to be one?
What’s the training?
How do I apply?
If you invent something, how do you know no one else has thought of it before? You need a patent searcher – also called a patent analyst – to trawl the patent records (and databases on non-patent intellectual property) to check no one else has laid claim to the idea.
As well as checking if it’s really new or not, the analyst would explore any restrictions that might be in place, whether prior claims are valid, how many other patents have been filed in the same area and so on. Then they report this back as data analysis.
Patent analysts work closely with patent attorneys and scientists, often specialising in a particular technical area depending on their own academic background and specialist knowledge.
Like the patent attorneys they work alongside, the analysts tend to work for law firms, in the legal departments of companies or in government departments.
Patent analysts are sleuths who report their discoveries through maths. So, they need all the tenacity to dig through the databases, but also the judgement, number-crunching and computing skills to analyse, interpret and present the findings in graphs and charts.
Patents are pretty technical things and to understand them, you need a good level of background knowledge, so a degree in a science area is pretty important. Ideally it should something like biological sciences, computer science or mechanical engineering – a field where lots of new discoveries are being developed.
Did you know?
The song ‘White Christmas’ was written by Irving Berlin in 1942. It is thought to be the world’s most valuable music copyright.
Training is done on the job.
Patent analysts are working with the latest ideas and inventions – often highly secret.
The patents and the data are very technical and precise.
Opportunities to join firms as a patent analyst open up through the year and you can apply while you’re still a university student completing your undergraduate or postgraduate degree.