Meet Tom: Patent Agent by Day, Pokémon Master by Night
August 03, 2021
Meet Tom Kiselak, a Patent Agent at Caldwell’s headquarters in Boston. Previously a research chemist at the University of North Texas working on novel inventions, Tom had an aha moment that led him to pursue intellectual property law. Learn more about Tom’s story: how he got here, what inspires him and most importantly, rising through the ranks to become a Pokémon Master.
Video Transcript (automatically generated)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
TOM: I wanted to be an electrical engineer growing up to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps who had successfully built in uninterruptible power supply business.
How did you end up at Caldwell IP Law?
TOM: I ended up at Caldwell IP as I was pursuing a PhD in chemistry, where I aided in getting a patent in a novel COVID 19 breathalyzer that was originally developed for opioids and marijuana infecting breath analytes, and due to the emerging crisis, we had quickly converted it to COVID 19, where it worked fantastically. I then realized how much it was fun it was to work in the field of intellectual property and protecting novel inventions like this, and I searched for firms that were in need of chemistry backgrounds like myself.
How have you grown while at Caldwell IP Law?
TOM: I’ve developed different types of argument strategies for different types of prosecution techniques, and responding to Examiner interviews is always fun as I get to interact with people as well as clients during my prosecution strategies.
How were you able to apply what you learned in your previous career to this job?
TOM: My previous career of chemistry allowed me to better serve our clients in the life Sciences industry. Specifically, I bring in my synthetic and analytical chemistry background when working with clients in those fields.
What would you say to researchers looking into a career in law?
TOM: I would certainly encourage the thought. Intellectual property is fantastic because because you get to witness all the different types of innovations and client inventors that are out there, and it’s a lot better than being stuck behind a lab bench where you’re working on the same repetitive experiment all day.
What was your experience like taking the patent bar?
TOM: The patent bar was an extremely stressful experience. Studying for the bar was arguably more challenging than studying for my dissertation defense. It was definitely more time consuming, but thanks to the support for my colleagues, I was able to get through it relatively unscathed.
What has been you favorite part of the job so far?
TOM: My favorite part of the job has definitely been the client meetings. I enjoy meeting the different types of inventors out there and sharing in their excitement of the invention that they’ve made.
Who are your heroes?
TOM: My hero would certainly be Captain America. He stays true to his morals and ethics and never wavers from them, no matter how tough the decision is.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
TOM: Most people don’t know about me that I am a frequent Pokemon player. Dare I say Pokémon Master. I have actually collected the entire first generation of Pokemon cards with all the badges that accompany that collection set. I used to play in local tournaments growing up, and it’s something that stuck with me for my entire life. I always try to level up, like in Pokemon.
What inspires you to wake up and come to work?
TOM: My family certainly is my inspiration. I want to make sure that every opportunity they strive to achieve that they have a chance to take it. And so what really motivates me is just being able to provide for them.