Graduate Opportunity

Associate Patent Examiner

September 2020

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Intellectual property is essential for stimulating creativity and innovation. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government agency responsible for intellectual property (IP) and we maintain a clear and accessible IP system in the UK which encourages innovation and helps the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.

Patents in particular are an important tool for stimulating innovation and growth. They grant monopoly rights of up to 20 years in return for a full disclosure of an invention.

The IPO is an inclusive employer where diversity is respected and differences valued. Our positive approach to diversity allows us to select the most suitable applicants free from bias on factors such as age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or religion.

What is Intellectual Property?

A quick intro to intellectual property from the IPO.

What we're looking for:

We are recruiting around 20 associate patent examiners in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology, electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications engineering, computer systems engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics. We are particularly interested in engineers with experience in telecommunications engineering, electrical and electronic engineering and computer systems engineering.

You will need:

  • At least a 2:2 degree or equivalent in a relevant science, engineering, computer science or mathematics subject
  • Or relevant industrial experience at that level
  • GCSE/O-level grade C or above in Mathematics and English is also required.

Main Duties

  • Patent examining offers an unusual opportunity to combine scientific and technical expertise with legal skills.
  • Successful candidates will receive comprehensive structured training and mentoring in the legal skills and knowledge required, as well as in the professional searching skills necessary for carrying out the patent examiner role.
  • Patent examiners combine these legal skills and searching skills with their well-developed analytical ability and their technical knowledge to determine if the invention is new and inventive and whether the application satisfies other legal requirements.

Start dates and salary

  • The start date will be in September 2020
  • A £3,030 allowance is included in the starting salary package which overall currently starts at £29,061.
  • In addition a further £4,040 allowance is available for posts in telecommunications, bringing the starting salary package for these posts to £33,101.

Diversity and Inclusion at the IPO

  • Stonewall top 100 employer
  • Top 10 in Government
  • Winner of Stonewall’s Senior Champion of the Year award
  • Top 10 employer for Working Families
  • Business Disability Forum - Disability Confident Leader
  • Silver rating for the Business in the Community race benchmark
  • Higher than Public Sector average rating in Chwarae Teg’s Fairplay benchmark
  • Achieved the ‘Large employer of the year’ award at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017.

Application process

In order to apply you will need to write a personal statement of up to 750 words. You will also need to complete the Associate Patent Examiner Qualification Template available on the Civil Service Jobs page and attach it to your online application. Your application will not be considered if this form is omitted.
In your personal statement you should provide evidence of the following:

  • Degree-level knowledge or equivalent experience in a relevant technical field and an ability to apply that knowledge in practical situations
  • The ability to understand and evaluate complex scientific and engineering information in order to reach conclusions quickly and accurately;
  • The ability to express ideas clearly, both orally and in writing, with sensitivity and respect for others.

Recruitment Timeline

  • Applications for this role will be sifted between 16 December 2019 and 24 January 2020.
  • Interviews will take place in our Newport office and are currently scheduled to begin on 10 February 2020.


How to Apply

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Opportunity Overview

  • January 24th, 2020
  • £29,061 + benefits
  • 2:2 and above
  • Newport (South Wales)
    (Show map)

Disciplines accepted...

  • Automotive
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Control & Instrumentation
  • Cyber Security
  • Electrical
  • Electronic
  • IT Architecture
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Maths
  • Mechanical
  • Mechatronics
  • Physics
  • Software
  • Systems
  • Telecommunications

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Employee Profiles

Helen Yard - MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences

"The IPO offers a friendly and relaxed environment, making it enjoyable to work here."

Oscar Hummerstone - BSc Mechanical Engineering and MSc Computer Science

"As my experience has increased I’ve been given more autonomy, while also being..."

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