A patent secretary specializes in providing administrative assistance related to patent procedures and laws. At minimum, you will likely need a high school diploma to become a patent secretary, but a degree in a field such as law or paralegal studies may make you a more competitive candidate. You will also need to be proficient with computers, office equipment, and productivity software for this career. Knowledge of patent laws, experience with legal procedures, organizational talent, and a range of other related skills are also important when you want to become a patent secretary.
Educational requirements for becoming a patent secretary typically vary from employer to employer. Usually, however, employers require patent secretaries to have high school diplomas or General Educational Development® (GED®) credentials. Though a college education isn't generally required, many employers state a preference for hiring individuals who have college degrees. For example, a college degree in law or paralegal studies may help you land this job.
Most jobs available for patent secretaries require an individual to have experience in this field. This can make it difficult to land your first job. You can, however, gain related experience by working as a legal secretary, assistant, or paralegal. Additionally, you can gain helpful experience by working in a patent office or assisting a patent agent. Many employers ask for three years of patent secretary experience, but they may agree to accept a combination of related experience instead.
Usually, proficiency with computers is necessary when you want to become a patent secretary. You will likely need experience and skill in using productivity programs such as databases and spreadsheets as well as the Internet and email. Knowledge of and experience with basic office equipment, such as facsimile machines and printers, may prove important as well. Additionally, experience with transcription equipment is often required.
Knowledge of patent laws and procedures, as they apply in your country, is usually required when you want to become a patent secretary. Some employers may want you to have an understanding of foreign laws and procedures as well. Additionally, you will likely need knowledge of regulations pertaining to intellectual property when you want to become a patent secretary.
Some employers will look for candidates who have a range of additional skills and qualities for this job. For example, you may need excellent organizational skills as well as the ability to pay attention to detail for this position. Proofreading skills, written and verbal communication skills, and prioritization skills are usually critical as well.