Today the number of candidates who prepare for the Patent Attorney Examination (PAE) is gradually increasing. A patent attorney (PA) is a lawyer who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and knowledge of the necessary procedures relating to patent law. Only 200 people pass the PAE every year. There were two successful candidates from the recent PAE that graduated from Dankook University (DKU). The Dankook Herald met one of them, Kim Ha-na (the class of 2002, Dept. of Molecular biology) who studied for the PAE for five years.
Q. What made you choose a career as a PA?
When I was a senior at DKU, two of my superiors were studying for the PAE. It was the first time I learned about a career as a PA, but I didn’t much care for it. After graduation, I started working for a business, but the store closed down a year after it opened. Then I was already in my late 20s, so I didn’t have any choice but to work for a pharmaceutical firm as a result of my major. If I worked there, I would do sales work. However, I was not suitable for such work, so I naturally became interested in the specialized job of a PA.
Q. How did you study for the PAE?
There are two exams you need to pass to become qualified as a PA. When I was preparing for the primary PAE, I studied alone at the library and utilized casebooks. If your major is natural sciences or engineering, you will not have a big problem passing the primary exam. However after I passed the primary exam, I studied with group to prepare for the level two exam. I also took an actual test at an institute on the weekends and studied with the group on weekdays. Working with the study group was beneficial.
Q. You passed primary exam early, but up until two years ago, you had failed the level two exam. On reflection, what do you think was the reason for your failure?
The primary exam is multiple choice, but level two exam is short-answer and essay questions. I felt comfortable with the multiple choice segment, but the short-answer and essay questions were a burden for me. In addition, I didn’t have
enough time to study for the level two exam, because I started preparing the level two exam right after receiving the result that I had passed the primary exam.
Q. How did you overcome the problem of preparation?
When I failed to pass the PAE the first time, I just decided to do better the next time. Moreover, my parents always trusted me and cheered me on. I sometimes went out with my friends and watched dramas because only studying stressed me out. It helped me concentrate on my study for several years. Although this period was a hard time for me, I never gave up on my dream of passing the PAE.
Q. What would you consider to be your key to success in passing the PAE?
The key is that I chose organic chemistry as my initial major. The subject suited
me. It is important to choose well-suited subjects. I also had luck during the PAE.
However, the Goddess of Fortune only came to me after five years of studying hard for the PAE. Fortune only follows effort. Most of all, I had never given up my goal. It was more important to me over everything else.
Q. How did you feel after finally passing the PAE?
When I went to the training sessions for PA’s, I felt that patent attorneys from DKU were very rare. DKU should support students studying for the PAE more. Other universities have already supported many aspiring patent attorneys,
so there are many patent attorneys from other universities. DKU should emulate them.
Q. Is there any further study you want to do as a PA?
Working as a PA makes me study a lot of things. It is important for me to study other majors. It is also important to study languages such as English, Chinese, and Japanese because there are many cases related to other countries.
Q. What can people who pass the PAE do?
After two months of training, people work for 10 months under probation. People usually prepare patent applications. They also participate in developing new technology because they have valuable information and understand the tendency
Q. Do you have any advice to offer any future patent attorneys?
Choose your dream carefully! If your mind is not set on something you really want, then it will be more difficult to study. After making your decision, keep going. Everyone feels that the PAE is hard to pass. The average time it takes
to prepare for the exam is 3 to 5 years. Never lose hope. Don’t doubt whether your style of study is right or not. Agonizing over that is time-consuming. You may try to emulate the study habits of others, but you will eventually return to
your own style. That’s okay. Believe in yourself and you will succeed. Finally, enjoy your campus life. Don’t put yourself into the job market as a freshman or sophomore. When I was a freshman, I did that and it is the thing I regret
most still today.
People make an effort to achieve their goals, but not everyone realizes their dream. Only those that never give up and make a sustained effort, obtain satisfactory results. Kim Ha-na was one of those people. Passing the PAE was a result of his five years of hard work coming to fruition. Now he can overcome everything because he already realized how not to give up on his goals. People should follow his lead if they want to achieve their dreams.
Cho Ah-young, Kim Gang-san firstname.lastname@example.org