Who we are

I have a degree in Chemistry (specialization in Organic Chemistry) from the University of Oviedo and I am a Doctor of Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zürich (ETH) with a thesis entitled “Electrical and magnetic properties of copper arylcarboxylates ” (1993), carried out under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Paul Rys.I am an Industrial Property Agent in Spain and a European Patent Attorney (EQE).

After finishing my degree in chemistry I moved to Zürich, where I had to work hard to make a living. As a doctorate student in Zürich I first worked on the synthesis of azo dyes as the subject of my “Diplomarbeit”, because the ETH requires passing several oral examinations and doing laboratory practice to bring a degree from a foreign university into line with the ETH regulations. Later, I worked in the preparation and characterization of copper aryl carboxylates, always under the supervision of Prof. Paul Rys, publishing several scientific papers in specialized journals.

Returning to Spain at the end of 1991, I worked for several months in the Spanish National Research Council on the biocatalytic preparation of organic compounds. Finally, I worked in the Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, of the University of Alcala de Henares (Madrid) on the synthesis of benzodiazepines for use as anti-hypertensive agents until May 1996, when I left my white laboratory coat for good. In July 1993 I travelled to Zürich with my one year old son to pass my PhD examination.

My landing in the patent world was largely by chance and this time instead of changing country, I preferred to change activity. For this reason and in view of the few job opportunities that arose, I started during my postdoctoral stay in Alcala, to collaborate as a patent translator with an industrial property agency. My second son came at that time, among the benzodiazepines and the translations.

Since 1996 I have been working fucll time in patent related matters, including translation, drafting, prosecuting, and providing advice to clients: first at Herrero & Asociados (1996-2000) and later at Ungría Patentes y Marcas S.A. (2000-2013).

As life is continuous learning, the experience gained during the ‘white coat’ years proved to be most useful for walking in someone else’s shoes, such as an inventor, a patent reader or a patent examiner. Similarly, the last five years as Head of the Patent Department at Ungría Patentes y Marcas S.A., provided a substantial leap in acquiring different skills.

I am, as is everybody else, the result of all these previous experiences and many hours devoted to learning, listening, studying, thinking and deciding. And I hope that all this will be useful to you.

– University of Girona (Spain): course on industrial property in 2001, entitled “Patent Drafting”

– “Fundación Esame”, in 2010 and 2011: participation in a course addressed to “biotech patent specialists” with a presentation entitled “drafting patent claims in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology field”

– University of Alcala de Henares: participation in the “Master in Fine Chemicals”, in 2010 and 2011, with a presentation entitled “PATENTS AS A RESEARCH SUPPORT”

– Outreach Course “Advances in Chemistry and Their Impact on Society” organized by Dr. Bernardo Herradón, researcher of the Spanish National Research Council, in the 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 editions (http://www.losavancesdelaquimica.com) with a presentation entitled “Chemists and industrial property”

– Participation in the National Radio Program, Radio 5, entitled “A Hombros de Gigantes”, devoted to the dissemination of science and technology, March 18, 2011.

– University of Alcalá de Henares, conference in the Faculty of Sciences, 21st March 2013, entitled “The relevance of patents in the chemistry progress”

Recent Posts

March for Science

20170422_133718One week ago we participated in the March for Science, here in Madrid. What do we have to do these days, in the middle of the 21st century! But yes!, it seems that science is frowned upon, it seems that we are in recession. You just have to look around to see how many tarot readers are around the corner, how homeopathic clinics and even degrees in homeopathy offered by universities proliferate, how people sell  and use “lucky objects” of all kinds, such as frogs, gems, bracelets and the like.  And even worse, we can see that presidents of nations are scornful about the reality of climate change, the incontestable utility of vaccines, or the evolution of species.

And if this is what happens, for example, in the United States, let see what happens in Spain !… where there is more talk in TV about tourist counting or  weather forecast than about science, where culture is almost exclusively associated with theater, literature, arts in general, but hardly with scientific knowledge. For example, we have a radio programme entitled “the critical eye” (El ojo crítico) in the Public Radio that is advertised as “the cultural program par excellence” of the Spanish broadcasting. Indeed, it is a daily programme between 7 and 8 p.m, indeed, it is a cultural program, but wherein half of the culture is completely forgotten. Contrarily, what about the programme “On giant’s shoulders” (A hombros de gigantes),? a broadcast devoted to scientific dissemination with interviews, news, stories about scientists and their achivements, in a nutshell, science for everyone. It is broadcast live Mondays at 2 a.m.! I have no comment on that!.

It is clear that a journalist – with exceptions – will feel more comfortable interviewing an actor than a physicist, but scientists must make themselves heard, if not to make a journalist to spread science, at least to make people respectful with it. If you do not understand science, at least, do not deny it!. As a banner read: “science is not another alternative”, science is a fact, and is the only option that can save the planet and ourselves.

And as another banner read: “there is no planet B!”

We shall get back to patents shortly!.

Seni Cueto

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