Are you an Australian citizen? Have you ever thought about becoming a patent examiner?
If so, now may be your chance, because IP Australia is looking for 'the next Albert Einstein or Thomas Jefferson'.
Of course, neither Einstein nor Jefferson were Australian citizens. Nor are they probably best known for their work as patent examiners. And, in all fairness, Jefferson only got the job after he helped to found a nation, draft its Constitution, and implement its first patent laws, and we do not imagine that most people would be willing to go to such extremes just to become a patent examiner!
However, IP Australia has a point, which is this: examining patents is not a job for dummies; to do it well you need sound technical knowledge, an inquiring mind, attention to detail, sharp critical faculties, and (preferably) the ability to form firm opinions, and to express them clearly and cogently.
The current round of recruitment spans a range of technologies:
- Medical Devices
- Mechanical Engineering
- Pharmacology/ Pharmaceuticals
- Applied Chemistry
- Electronics & Communications
You do need to have formal qualifications relevant to at least one of these areas (e.g. a science or engineering degree).
Applications close at 11:30pm on Sunday, 27 November 2011.
We hope that IP Australia attracts some strong applicants. There are interesting times ahead for examiners in the Australian system, with the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 currently before the Senate (see Senate Patent Reform Bill – A Closer Look). The proposed reforms will give Australian examiners more tools, and greater powers, to ensure the quality of patents granted in this country. Ensuring that the examinign corps is up to the task has therefore never been more important.
More information can be found in the Patent Examiner FAQs. As with most worthwhile jobs, if your first question is 'how much is the pay', then maybe you are not cut out for it. But if you have already considered two or three more important questions, and you are curious about remuneration, the IP Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014, which can be found at the end of the FAQ page, includes this information, and much more about the general conditions of employment.