Ellis Terry represents some of the most exciting technology companies in New Zealand.

Trainee Patent Attorney

We are looking for a graduate to join us as a trainee patent attorney.

Patent attorneys help businesses obtain, manage, and use their intellectual property so that they can capture the commercial value of their innovative products. We get involved throughout the technology development process. You get to be involved in the R&D of a wide range of leading companies and help them to work out how they can get a commercial advantage out of their hard work.

A typical week would involve talking to a client about their new products, describing a client’s new technology in detail, reviewing existing patents to compare our client’s new technology to what already exists, and advocating on behalf of our clients with patent examiners around the world.

What Do You Need?

A degree in engineering or science: Our clients work with mechanical, electrical, and software technologies, so you’ll need to be comfortable with at least one of these areas.

Excellent English language skills: The ability to understand complex technical documents and write clearly with high accuracy and attention to detail is essential.

Legal experience or qualifications and foreign language skills would be a bonus, but are not essential.

Who would fit in?

We don’t expect you to know your patents from your copyright on day 1. We offer full training and you will work towards becoming qualified as a Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney.

The most important characteristic is curiosity. We want someone who has a lot of questions about how things work. The best patent attorneys are those who understand a client’s technology and business goals as well as they do and to ask questions they hadn’t considered before.

You’ll also like a good debate. A lot of the job involves advocating for our client’s positions on their behalf. So we need someone who can think an issue through logically and present a sound and persuasive argument for it. Creativity and research skills certainly help here too.

You’ll also need to be autonomous and motivated. We don’t like to micromanage: we want someone who can take ownership over their work and who cares about the results.

Why work for us?

Flexibility—While you qualify, you will be based in our Auckland office working alongside our principals. But once you’re trained and can work autonomously, you can work however is best for you, whether in the office or next to a beach. Remuneration rewards performance, not time behind a desk.

Growth—We’re looking to invest in people for the long-term. We will support you through the qualification process, including obtaining a Masters of Intellectual Property.

Purpose—There are no little cogs here. Because we are a small firm, everyone plays a big role. While your primary role will be as a patent attorney, there are lots of side projects to make every day a bit different.

Please contact if you want to find out more.