Patent Attorney (Director level)

Are you interested in the intersection of scientific innovation and property law, especially how to efficiently capture innovation with intellectual property, incentivise continued R&D and drive access to life-saving medicines for patients?

London, South East

Patent Attorney (Director level)

Job Description

Are you interested in the intersection of scientific innovation and property law, especially how to efficiently capture innovation with intellectual property, incentivise continued R&D and drive access to life-saving medicines for patients?

If so, the Patent Attorney role at our company could be an ideal opportunity for you. This is a Director level position and we are looking for a highly motivated and skilled individual to join our team in Moorgate, London.

Role overview:

In this role, you will provide European patent support for our company’s discovery and development programs in our Human Health/Commercial division for both small and large molecules. You will conduct patentability assessments, prosecute patent applications and act in oppositions before the EPO.  The position will also support programs from the London R&D site in all phases of development, from discovery through development and commercialisation, and support programs in diverse areas (including different therapeutic areas and modalities). This role also provides exposure to and interaction with major areas of the business including discovery, development, manufacturing and supply, regulatory, business development, commercial groups, and other legal functions.

You will report to the Head of European Patents and work with a team of two other European Patent Attorneys and five support staff. You will be part of a wider Intellectual Property Department that is located in Rahway, New Jersey, Boston, Massachusetts and Boxmeer, The Netherlands.

Role responsibilities include:

  • Filing and prosecuting patent applications before the EPO on inventions relating to our company’s products, product candidates and platform technologies
  • Representing our company in EPO oppositions, including supporting any EPO oppositions where we are being represented by outside counsel
  • Representing our company in oral proceedings before the EPO
  • Filing and prosecuting Supplementary Protection Certificate applications across Europe
  • Working independently with product development teams to devise a patenting strategy with the goal of building robust portfolios of intellectual property for cutting-edge biopharmaceutical products developed at our London R&D site
  • Drafting and prosecuting patent applications on a global basis for inventions from our London R&D site
  • Conducting freedom to operate analyses for our company’s extensive R&D activities at our London site
  • Conducting intellectual property due diligences for various types of corporate transactions, including research collaborations and acquisitions
  • Providing support for national patent litigation in Europe
  • Working with a large team of in-house U.S. and European patent attorneys, paralegals, legal operations and support staff, and local agents
  • Providing legal counseling services that are consistent with law and Company policies, furthering business objectives and appropriately balancing divisional/functional/corporate business objectives and legal risks
  • Exercising judgment to drive decisions on routine and non-routine matters within areas of practice
  • Supervising activities and managing relationships with outside counsel


  • Degree in the pharmaceutical, chemical, or biological sciences from an accredited institution; and recently qualified as an EPA, and qualified or intending to qualify as a CPA.


  • 3+ years’ experience in private practice or a corporate setting, practicing in the patent area
  • Expertise in drafting and prosecuting chemical (small molecule) and/or biologic/vaccine (large molecule) patent applications, with a willingness to develop expertise in the other area
  • Strong technical background
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills.


  • Experience in counseling clients on intellectual property issues
  • Experience in managing a significant workload, with the ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to work in cross-functional teams
  • Ability to communicate competently and confidently with R&D clients, business partners, and senior leaders
  • Ability to be proactive and take initiative

Your role at our company is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At our company, we’re inventing for life.

We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively for the common good. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Closing date: Friday 26th July 2024

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully 
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company.  No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Apply now


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