Skip to main content

Patents & Regulation: Sector Overview

Patents & Regulation

Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them

What's on this page?

This page covers information about the sector, what jobs are available, and what people do

Related Careers

The following sectors use similar skills to this one, and may be of interest to people wanting to work with inventions


This guide covers work in fields concerning regulation, intellectual property and quality assurance

Professionals in this area monitor whether an product has been patented, or whether an idea has been trademarked

They may work to ensure that products and how products are made adhere to safety and environmental standards

Patent and Trademark Attorneys

Patent Attorneys specialise in finding out whether a new invention or innovations is unique and whether it can be patented.

Trademark Attorneys specialise in researching and enforcing intellectual property over brands and logos

Patent Law is harmonised around Europe, allowing Patent Attorneys to find work and travel opportunities quite easily

Trademark and Patent Attorneys are often found working together in the same firms

Work Tasks

These jobs involve:

  1. Taking part in negotiations and legal cases
  2. Researching your area and being aware of developments
  3. Assessing whether a product can be trademarked or patented
  4. Advising on intellectual property
  5. Writing up claims for patents or trademarks

Entry Requirements

Trademark professionals usually come from a humanities or languages background, while patent officers come from science and engineering

The ability to learn about law is an important qualification for this work

Quality Assurance Officer

Quality Assurance Officers are responsible for ensuring that a product is consistent, up to standard, and meets regulations

Work tasks

In this role you will need to:

  1. Establish standards and procedures
  2. Set standards for quality and health and safety
  3. Write reports
  4. Review customer requirements

Entry requirements

People who enter this area of work have often studied either science or business

Regulatory Affairs Officers

Regulatory Affairs Officers ensure that the products of companies meet the required regulations and standards

They are most often found in chemistry-related industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, alternative medicine, cosmetics, and agriculture

Work tasks

In this role you will need to:

  1. Research regulatory requirements around the world
  2. Communicate these to designers, and managers
  3. Develop product labels and instructions
  4. Review scientific data
  5. Write applications for licences

Entry requirements

A background in life sciences is normal, and new entries often have some experience with quality assurance or research

Facts and Figures


of UK patents are handled by Patent Attorneys in this country


Of these are handled in-house by patent attorney teams


Times more prosecutions handled by Patents Attorneys come from outside of Britain


Patent Attorneys work in the UK


Number of patents entered to the European Patent Office in 2012

Sources: PatAnalyse Report 2011, EPO Statistics