ALTANA is a global specialty chemicals company that is decisively characterised by its diversity. ALTANA’s shared corporate culture is driven by innovation, sustainability, and motivation to perform. Working under the ALTANA umbrella are business divisions with their own brands that provide innovative solutions based on integrated chemical, formulation, and application expertise that make products used in daily life better and more sustainable.
Drawing upon its renowned technical knowledge-base and its rich history, ALTANA practises an effective and proactive IP protection strategy, being aware that a strong patent portfolio is essential for success in the world knowledge and know-how market, especially in a competitive industry. The company therefore relies heavily on its IP function to generate and protect a large body of commercially significant intellectual property via research, new product development, as well as M&A and open innovation.
To meet this high demand, an exciting opportunity has arisen for a high-calibre European Patent Attorney to assume responsibility for the commercially important portfolio of the ELANTAS Electrical Insulation division. The successful appointee will enjoy a dynamic and inspiring work environment with the potential to grow the portfolio and function significantly beyond its current scope and size.
The key responsibilities will include the following:
- Invention harvesting: Interfacing with scientists and engineers to identify inventions. Managing and accessing IP disclosures. Evaluating and deciding whether or not to seek patent protection in conjunction with the participation of the commercial side of the company;
- IP Creation: Drafting and prosecution of patent applications, in cooperation with outside counsel support as and when necessary;
- Freedom to Operate Opinions: Analysis of in-house and professional third party FTO searches, advising upon appropriate strategies for infringement avoidance, liaising closely with outside counsel in connection with these actions;
- Support or manage opposition and appeal cases before the European Patent Office, work with and mange outside counsel where appropriate;
- Contracts/Agreement Advice: Providing IP counselling and support to the Legal team in relation to drafting collaboration and other IP relevant agreements;
- Support in devising and implementing IP strategies of a business unit;
- Handling patent enforcement, infringement matters, and litigation as and when necessary;
- Supporting Licensing and IP due diligence work as and when necessary.
This is an equal opportunity appointment. Any biased reference in the text is made merely for the sake of brevity and convenience. The successful candidate is likely to fulfil the following criteria:
- Be a fully qualified European Patent Attorney, ideally coupled with a national qualification;
- Possess between three to five years’ post qualification experience, ideally acquired from an in-house IP department or a reputable IP private practice/ law firm;
- Possess an excellent technical background in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science or other related technical disciplines;
- Fluency in both written and spoken English; and ideally working knowledge of German is preferential, but not compulsory;
- A team player who is able to develop and maintain close working relationships with internal clients, and with colleagues within the IP team and in other corporate functions across the global operations;
- Excellent interpersonal skills sufficient to relate with individuals at all levels within the organisation and build rapport;
- Excellent communication and presentation skills and a proven ability to interface with all levels of the organisation, i.e. convert IP legal issues into readily understandable business issues;
- An entrepreneurial spirit coupled with the ability to be creative and think “outside the box”;
- Demonstrate strategic thinking, understanding of value chains, and assume a broad business perspective;
- The ability to think and react quickly and confidently in all situations;
- The ability to see the big picture, whilst working with the necessary detail;
- Demonstrate a commercial approach to IP, comprehending its value as a tool to service the wider-needs of the business and as a part of a broader strategy;
- A high degree of initiative, and display a “hands-on” flexible approach to problems and demands;
- Be highly organised with the ability to manage a challenging workload, including the prioritisation of duties when required;
- Display high integrity and ethics in all dealings – internal, external, and personal. Non-political in conduct, while understanding internal and external political dynamics;
- Display openness to learning, high energy, results oriented, with highest professionalism for the company;