Who are they and what do they do? The patent agent gives advice and help to those applying to register for a patent on their inventions.
What are the activities of the job? Examines the designs, the specifications, the samples of products in order to understand the fundamental principles on which they are based; gives advice on patents, marks, and helps to prepare requests for registration; studies the laws covering patents already granted, and how to apply them to similar or compatible products; may draft the application for a new patent according to the legal prescriptions. Depending on the topic s/he may specialise, as there are very complicated matters in this field.
Where is it done and under what conditions? In private and public offices and archives/libraries under normal office conditions.
What tools/equipment do they use? They work with computers and technical registries and they store highly confidential information.
What do you need to succeed? You need higher level training such as a university degree in engineering or science, certainly scientific or technical knowledge. Career development may involve specialisation in specific areas of invention.