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Striking chords

Part of this job, like any other, is keeping a finger on the pulse of what is going on in the larger industry - changes in laws, decisions in significant cases, and so on. This being the 21st Century, most of this now comes from blogs rather than old-timey printed journals.

Anyway, for various reasons, I have Patent Attorney qualifications in multiple juristictions: The UK, Australia, and New Zealand (I'm an extremely special and unique snowflake).

One of the main blogs I've been using to keep track of things in Australia is Mark Summerfield's Patentology blog. Mark always writes extremely readably, and with a refreshing lack of the suffocating stuffiness that is frequently present in this industry (that is, he actually appears to be a human being rather than an animated fossil that is the result of an attempt to blend the DNA of a sloth and a shark with that of a law library). When I decided that I needed a blog, Mark's blog was one of the better sources of advice.

As his latest post explains, he has decided to call it a day in the patent profession, for a number of reasons. Very, very many of these reasons struck chords with me (although I have no plans at the moment to leave the profession), especially those relating to the 'monkeys on your back' of deadlines and earnings. There is not a patent attorney alive who has not narrowly dodged a deadline bullet, or possibly been forced to have a series of awkward conversations with insurers and a client having been hit by one. The nature of the law and the prfession means that you might not even find out until a couple of months after it's too late. That constant knowledge tends to eat away in the back of your mind if you actually care about doing a decent job for your clients.

If you want an insight into the profession, and what goes on behind the scenes, it is well worth a read.

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