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Sarah Patterson

Trainee patent attorney
At NLO, I work as a trainee patent attorney in an interdisciplinary team. The R&D landscape across multiple industries is changing; chemistry, physics and engineering teams are no longer siloed and cross-functional teams are poised to tackle future challenges. I hope to leverage my previous experience in chemistry and automation to best serve clients and provide commercially valuable intellectual property advice.


  • Chemistry
  • Food
  • Process technology
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Pharma

I am a chemist turned trainee patent attorney at NLO. My previous academic experience has been at the interface of chemistry and automation. At Imperial, I completed a research project within the centre for Rapid Online Analysis of Reactions; a state-of-the-art facilities centre to enable data-centric research in synthesis. During this experience, I honed my analytical and critical thinking skills all of which I apply in my role as a trainee patent attorney.

My objective is to help companies build intellectual property strategies consistent with their business goals

During my studies, I had the opportunity to work for a multinational pharmaceutical company where I investigated the use of high throughput technologies coupled with machine learning techniques. Aside from furthering my scientific skills, this experience taught me the value of intellectual property. I received first-hand experience into how companies can leverage intangible assets to carve out resilient niches within industries or find new market opportunities. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that companies that invest in intellectual property, are correlated with higher productivity and sector growth. 

During my time at NLO, I have gained experience in patent prosecution, freedom-to-operate advice and drafting European and international patent application. I have worked with chemical clients ranging from bulk chemicals to pesticides. I have gained a particular affinity for clients in the clean technology industry; providing strategic intellectual property assistance to clients delving into realms such as CO2 capture and sustainable synthesis routes. Navigating the intricacies of patent applications, I ensure comprehensive protection for advancements in sustainable practices.


  • MSc in Chemistry, Imperial College London


  • S. Patterson, P. R.Clark, G. D. Williams, N. C.O.Tomkinson, An azide and acetylene free synthesis of 1-substituted 1,2,3-triazoles, Tetrahedron Letters 2020, 45, 152-155