Dr Josh Miller
BSc Materials Science and Technology, 2015; PhD Materials Science, 2020
Associate Patent Attorney, Withers & Rogers LLP
Since I entered the write up stage of my PhD in 2018, I’ve been based in Leamington Spa working as a Trainee Patent Attorney at Withers & Rogers LLP. Recently, I was promoted to an Associate after becoming part-qualified. I’ve been working as a Patent Attorney in the day, and writing up my thesis in the evenings and weekends until completing in March 2020, and graduating later last year.
Day-to-day, I help a number of different companies with protection of their intellectual property (IP). This involves the drafting and prosecuting of patents to protect company and inventor’s ideas, and opposing other companies’ patents in case they are infringing on our company’s rights. I’ve worked on a number of interesting inventions and I never really know what is going to come across my desk any day of the week. On a usual day I may work on three to five different cases from a number of well-known companies ranging from materials science, medical devices like dialysis machines, airplane engine parts, roller coasters, valves, building parts, sheep fences, satellites and space technologies.
The variety is something I really enjoy. The number of different cases I work on means I get to see something new every day. Not only that, but I also get an insight into lots of innovations and inventions before they are revealed to the public so it’s always exciting working on stuff that hasn’t yet been released!
The other great aspect of the job is meeting lots of inventors and discussing their innovations. This involves a lot of site visits and travel, and it’s always great to meet the inventors in person when possible.
During my time at University, I was part of the committee for the Materials Society BUMS. Being a committee member helped me get the inter-personal skills I use in my job every day. At the time I organised the society’s annual Careers Fair which forced me to approach and talk to people at companies around the UK. This definitely helped to develop my soft-skills and was something I really enjoyed doing. A personal highlight of being on the committee was meeting and interviewing Mark Miodownik as part of a College’s 2015 Christmas Lecture.
I really enjoy Working as a Patent Attorney, but it was only by chance that I learned about the profession. I attended a session on patenting for researchers at the University, which got me thinking about what I wanted to do after my PhD and becoming a Patent Attorney was definitely it. I’d recommend attending as many things the University puts on as possible, not only careers events but sessions from your School or College. Not only is a great way to meet potential future employers, but they can help give you an idea of what you want to do in the future.
All in all it has been an exciting and stimulating few years working as a patent attorney post UoB and I’m looking forward to the next few years when I become a fully-fledged Patent Attorney!