Coris Fung’s Journey to the US Patent Office Was Unexpected

Posted by Monica Hoel

Coris Fung came to Emory & Henry from Hong Kong via Salisbury, North Carolina. “I thought all of North Carolina was like Salisbury; and when I visited Richmond, Virginia, I thought all of Virginia was like Richmond! So I decided I really wanted to go to school in Virginia.”

Bless her heart, she came to Emory & Henry and found that all of Virginia is not like Richmond.

But she loved the campus, met her future husband in college, and got a great educational foundation that prepared her for her current job in the U.S. Patent Office.

Surprisingly, her job at the Patent Office doesn’t entail a lot of time spent dazzling in the amazement of new ideas: as much as anything, she spends her time making sure no one else has ever had this idea before. Once she’s able to prove that a patent application is truly putting forth a new concept, she is able to send it along to the next steps toward success.

She laughs about her professional journey – including the crazy coincidence of her career trajectory. After finishing a master’s degree at Virginia Tech, her first job was as a chemist for a company in Martinsville that made window film. Ironically, her first role at the patent office was dealing with items that are laminates with polymers; she dealt with anything that had plastic layers – just like window film. “Every part of your journey is eventually linked together.”

Enjoy a conversation with Coris in the WEHC-FM archives.

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