Role title: Patent Attorney
Function: Group Legal
Department: Commercial Operations & Intellectual Property
Reports to: Lead Patent Attorney
Location: UK based
Vodafone is highly innovative and continually creates new solutions to technical problems, often in partnership with other companies. Vodafone owns thousands of patents in a range of technical areas, including cryptography, radio access networks, 5G technology, blockchain solutions and digital platforms for internet of things (IoT) management. We continue to adapt our portfolio as Vodafone moves deeper into the technology space.
This role has a broad range of responsibilities, including advising the organisation on managing and getting value from its intellectual property. The individual would be expected to support the Lead Patent Attorney to implement Vodafone’s IPR strategy, educate and train the business, manage Vodafone’s portfolios of patents and registered designs, as well as advise on open source software compliance. The individual would also be required to work together with the Vodafone Germany Legal and Group Litigation teams to defend various patent related disputes.
The individual would need to be a strong communicator, proactive at creating and managing stakeholder relationships and adept at making connections between people and projects. To be able to support the business effectively, it is essential to reach out to and engage with innovators and key stakeholders proactively.
Key accountabilities and decision ownership:
- Manage a sizeable portion of the existing patent portfolio and build relationships with innovators to mine, harvest and patent inventions to add value to our businesses.
- Instruct outside counsel in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications.
- Work closely with the Group Litigation and the Germany Legal teams to identify, assess and mitigate patent threats across all Vodafone’s markets.
- Participate in and, at times lead, strategic initiatives, policy and best practices development, and training initiatives for mitigating IP risks and optimising IP value for Vodafone’s businesses.
- Deliver support in areas such as pooling Standard Essential Patents and exploring other opportunities for monetary and non-monetary IP value creation.
- Build strong relationships with internal technology, legal and commercial stakeholders and advise on technical IP matters.
- Provide second-line expert advice to solicitors on IP contractual and risk matters, in coordination with the Lead Patent Attorney.
Core competencies, knowledge and experience:
- Proven patent portfolio management experience.
- Good understanding of key IP issues for telecommunications, including standard essential patents (SEPs), smart tech and IoT, machine learning and software.
- Excellent communication skills, demonstrating an effective and adaptable communication style, to engage and influence internal and external stakeholders, and deliver pragmatic IP advice in a business-friendly way.
- Excellent project management skills and ability to balance multiple initiatives simultaneously, with proven ability to work collaboratively and inclusively within and across teams.
- Excellent analytic and problem-solving skills, to apply pragmatic and innovative solutions to complex IPR legal challenges.
Must have technical / professional qualifications:
- Qualified/Finalist UK/European Patent Attorney (about 5 years’+ experience).
- Degree in Physics, Electrical Engineering, or related discipline.
What is the key to our success? It’s simple – our people! Across a Global footprint, we believe we’re at our best when you’re at yours. From our diverse workforce, our flexible working policies to our creative work spaces, we embrace a culture of learning and sharing to develop our next stage growth. It’s in our hearts to push forward, to create a better future, to never rest and find new ways that help people communicate.
We are committed to developing the very best people by offering a flexible, motivating and inclusive workplace in which talent is truly recognised and rewarded. We respect, value and celebrate our people’s individual differences – we are not only multinational but multicultural too. Our excellent flexible benefits programme allows you to choose what’s right for you. Our Vodafone Foundation gives the ability for our people to give something back. We embrace empowering our people to shape their world.
The future is exciting. Ready?