When inventors arrive in Jumi Kassim’s Minnesota patent law office, they’re usually pretty happy to learn that she speaks their language.
As a software engineer turned lawyer, she understands what makes a technology novel, and can move forward with patent applications to protect crucial intellectual property developments.
“I like to say my job is as a translator, translating from the technical side to a language the law requires,” she explains.
“It’s actually kind of rare for someone to have a software engineering degree and be a patent attorney, even though a lot of what’s interesting in patent law right now has to do with software.”
In 2002, Kassim graduated from McMaster’s first software engineering and management class. Along with several classmates, she travelled to Minnesota where she spent more than a decade working as a software engineer for Boston Scientific.
But when her engineering colleagues began seeking MBAs to further their careers, she looked a bit more broadly at the implications of technology. “The law just seemed interesting to me.”
Working as a patent attorney since graduating from law school in 2014, Kassim says she enjoys the variety of her new job.
“When I was working as a software engineer, I knew pacemakers and defibrillators really well, and especially their communications systems because that’s what I worked on,” she says. “Now I get to work on a different technology every day, every hour.”