Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

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asfasdagdsfawe
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Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby asfasdagdsfawe » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:27 pm

Hello,

A friend of mine told me that, in order to practice intellectual property (or perhaps, more specifically, patent law), it is required that you have a science or engineering degree. Is this true?

This is a serious concern for me, since I am interested in intellectual property law, but am a philosophy major.


Thanks!
Last edited by asfasdagdsfawe on Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:28 pm

For patent law, it is required to have a technical background. This isn't mandated by a professional association like the ABA, but rather, the US Government.

For other types of IP law it doesn't matter.

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asfasdagdsfawe
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby asfasdagdsfawe » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:30 pm

Lxw wrote:For patent law, it is required to have a technical background. This isn't mandated by a professional association like the ABA, but rather, the US Government.

For other types of IP law it doesn't matter.



Thanks!

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rayiner
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:34 pm

We had an IP law Q&A today at NU with panelists from four different firms: two boutiques and two general practice firms. The lawyers from the two boutiques both mentioned that their firms had a requirement of patent-bar eligibility (even though the firms also handle lit, trademark, etc). The lawyer from one of the GA firms (a big prestigious firm in Chicago) mentioned that 75% of their IP group (which doesn't do any patent prosecution) has technical degrees. I forget about the fourth firm.

So IP litigation, copyright, trademark, etc, is possible without a technical degree, but it's an up-hill battle it seems.

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asfasdagdsfawe
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby asfasdagdsfawe » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:47 pm

rayiner wrote:We had an IP law Q&A today at NU with panelists from four different firms: two boutiques and two general practice firms. The lawyers from the two boutiques both mentioned that their firms had a requirement of patent-bar eligibility (even though the firms also handle lit, trademark, etc). The lawyer from one of the GA firms (a big prestigious firm in Chicago) mentioned that 75% of their IP group (which doesn't do any patent prosecution) has technical degrees. I forget about the fourth firm.

So IP litigation, copyright, trademark, etc, is possible without a technical degree, but it's an up-hill battle it seems.



Thanks for the info! I should probably reconsider pursuing IP then.

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rayiner
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby rayiner » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:48 pm

asfasdagdsfawe wrote:
rayiner wrote:We had an IP law Q&A today at NU with panelists from four different firms: two boutiques and two general practice firms. The lawyers from the two boutiques both mentioned that their firms had a requirement of patent-bar eligibility (even though the firms also handle lit, trademark, etc). The lawyer from one of the GA firms (a big prestigious firm in Chicago) mentioned that 75% of their IP group (which doesn't do any patent prosecution) has technical degrees. I forget about the fourth firm.

So IP litigation, copyright, trademark, etc, is possible without a technical degree, but it's an up-hill battle it seems.



Thanks for the info! I should probably reconsider pursuing IP then.


I mean, don't necessarily reconsider it, just be aware of the situation.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:51 pm

rayiner wrote:We had an IP law Q&A today at NU with panelists from four different firms: two boutiques and two general practice firms. The lawyers from the two boutiques both mentioned that their firms had a requirement of patent-bar eligibility (even though the firms also handle lit, trademark, etc). The lawyer from one of the GA firms (a big prestigious firm in Chicago) mentioned that 75% of their IP group (which doesn't do any patent prosecution) has technical degrees. I forget about the fourth firm.

So IP litigation, copyright, trademark, etc, is possible without a technical degree, but it's an up-hill battle it seems.


I've heard this, too. Specialized knowledge might help, though. There is a firm here with a fashion, apparel and beauty practice (not making this up: http://www.sheppardmullin.com/industries-8.html It's apparently V100, too.

There's a big IP component here, but they might take someone with industry experience over a technical major. I'm not really sure.

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M51
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby M51 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:44 am

asfasdagdsfawe wrote:
Thanks for the info! I should probably reconsider pursuing IP then.


Whoa. Whoa. Slow down. I was also a philosophy major... no technical background, etc. Obviously patent law is impossible (but really, that's all technical and you probably would both suck at it and find it boring... learned that in Intro to IP as a 1L). Drop that thought immediately.

BUT, "soft IP" is everywhere, and so's litigation for soft IP. Stay away from the snobbish IP boutiques w/ their elitist requirements, and you'll be fine. When you're looking for firms, you can always find a bunch of great firms where very few people in an IP-related department actually have a science/engineering background. I basically talked about soft IP in all of my interviews and got a 70% callback rate (again, philosophy major, no science/tech background), including Mofo's Tech Group (their people during callbacks stressed that a science/engineering background was not necessary at all and they did not even feel that it helped them in their jobs). In fact, when most of a practice group do not have science/tech backgrounds, you're not even at a resume disadvantage.

This is not to mention the IP possibilities in Art/Sports/Entertainment. While these areas are not pure IP, they do deal extensively in IP issues and require much of the same understanding of Copyright/Trademark law.

In conclusion: Rayinor and Lxw are not wrong. But that's far from the whole picture. I was told by many practicing lawyers at firm receptions and panel events that "transactional IP" doesn't exist. Yet, during callbacks, I found a transactional IP group (or something very similar) in almost half of the V20, usually where less than 50% of their lawyers in that group had hard science backgrounds. As with anything else, don't paint yourself into a specialty corner, but options are pretty wide-spread. IP law changes so often and alters both with legislation and with new technology that challenges old modes of thinking. This creates rapidly evolving business models for IP lawyers. If you can do the work, there'll be people who want to hire you, regardless of your UG major.

edit: Also, I should mention that CA positions for IP are a lot more common than elsewhere, but obviously NY, Chi, DC have thier share of work as well.

elegantswan
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby elegantswan » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:34 pm

-
Last edited by elegantswan on Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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asfasdagdsfawe
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby asfasdagdsfawe » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:12 pm

M51 wrote:
asfasdagdsfawe wrote:
Thanks for the info! I should probably reconsider pursuing IP then.


Whoa. Whoa. Slow down. I was also a philosophy major... no technical background, etc. Obviously patent law is impossible (but really, that's all technical and you probably would both suck at it and find it boring... learned that in Intro to IP as a 1L). Drop that thought immediately.

BUT, "soft IP" is everywhere, and so's litigation for soft IP. Stay away from the snobbish IP boutiques w/ their elitist requirements, and you'll be fine. When you're looking for firms, you can always find a bunch of great firms where very few people in an IP-related department actually have a science/engineering background. I basically talked about soft IP in all of my interviews and got a 70% callback rate (again, philosophy major, no science/tech background), including Mofo's Tech Group (their people during callbacks stressed that a science/engineering background was not necessary at all and they did not even feel that it helped them in their jobs). In fact, when most of a practice group do not have science/tech backgrounds, you're not even at a resume disadvantage.

This is not to mention the IP possibilities in Art/Sports/Entertainment. While these areas are not pure IP, they do deal extensively in IP issues and require much of the same understanding of Copyright/Trademark law.

In conclusion: Rayinor and Lxw are not wrong. But that's far from the whole picture. I was told by many practicing lawyers at firm receptions and panel events that "transactional IP" doesn't exist. Yet, during callbacks, I found a transactional IP group (or something very similar) in almost half of the V20, usually where less than 50% of their lawyers in that group had hard science backgrounds. As with anything else, don't paint yourself into a specialty corner, but options are pretty wide-spread. IP law changes so often and alters both with legislation and with new technology that challenges old modes of thinking. This creates rapidly evolving business models for IP lawyers. If you can do the work, there'll be people who want to hire you, regardless of your UG major.

edit: Also, I should mention that CA positions for IP are a lot more common than elsewhere, but obviously NY, Chi, DC have thier share of work as well.



Thanks a lot! You seem to have the most well-supported information. I can definitely keep 'soft IP' an option, especially since I am very interested in entertainment law.

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CE2JD
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby CE2JD » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:50 pm

elegantswan wrote:You need a HARD science background (engineering, chem) and at least a masters degree in the field. (A BS will not cut it.) A lot of better firms even have GPA reqs for your science degrees.
As a philo major you are screwed for IP law.


No.

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dood
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby dood » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:20 am

...
Last edited by dood on Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Llewellyn
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby Llewellyn » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:33 am

dood wrote:Prosecution typically requires hard science. Take a peak at a bio science patent application and you'll know why.

Think about why that is. In the bio-field, the ordinary level of skill is a PhD in bio, so of course law firms hire PhD's in bio to do bio work. In other fields that isn't necessarily really true, especially of engineering.

And as for your allegation that prosecution typically requires hard science? Patently ridiculous.

JaytheletterJ
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby JaytheletterJ » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:41 am

Lxw wrote:For patent law, it is required to have a technical background. This isn't mandated by a professional association like the ABA, but rather, the US Government.

For other types of IP law it doesn't matter.


"technical background" is too vague. It may be a more applicable term when talking about job opportunities.

For the govt you do not need a technical degree.

Category B and Category C qualifications take this into account. Depending on what types of courses and hours you took while pursuing a degree you can meet their qualifications, Category B. You can also meet the USPTO's requirement by passing the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) which is Category C.

keg411
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby keg411 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:30 pm

Question: Where does Biomedical Engineering fall on the "hard IP" spectrum? Is it more like the Bio/Chem majors where you need an advanced degree or with the rest of the engineering degrees? A friend of mine has a BME degree from John's Hopkins and my sister and I might convince her to take the patent bar if she doesn't get into med school, but I'm not sure if you need an advanced degree with that or not (since it's not usually mentioned with the rest of the engineering degrees).

law_nut
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby law_nut » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:59 pm

What about a Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering. I was thinking about just taking the patent bar right after BSEE and BSSE and then go to law school and specialize in IP / patent law.

I was thinking also of getting a masters in Electrical Engineering before starting any real work in the field of IP and patents.

But maybe it would be best to get the Masters in Electrical Engineering before going to Law school ???

.
Last edited by law_nut on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:02 pm

.

roadkilllaw
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby roadkilllaw » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:16 pm

^^^^^^ ?

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Gaius
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby Gaius » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:32 pm

law_nut wrote:What about a Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering. I was thinking about just taking the patent bar right after BSEE and BSSE and then go to law school and specialize in IP / patent law.

I was thinking also of getting a masters in Electrical Engineering before starting any real work in the field of IP and patents.

But maybe it would be best to get the Masters in Electrical Engineering before going to Law school ???


Have you started your BSEE yet?

law_nut
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby law_nut » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:43 pm

Gaius wrote:
law_nut wrote:What about a Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering. I was thinking about just taking the patent bar right after BSEE and BSSE and then go to law school and specialize in IP / patent law.

I was thinking also of getting a masters in Electrical Engineering before starting any real work in the field of IP and patents.

But maybe it would be best to get the Masters in Electrical Engineering before going to Law school ???


Have you started your BSEE yet?


Yes, half way done.

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Gaius
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Re: Major-Requirements for Intellectual Property Law?

Postby Gaius » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:59 pm

law_nut wrote:
Gaius wrote:
law_nut wrote:What about a Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering. I was thinking about just taking the patent bar right after BSEE and BSSE and then go to law school and specialize in IP / patent law.

I was thinking also of getting a masters in Electrical Engineering before starting any real work in the field of IP and patents.

But maybe it would be best to get the Masters in Electrical Engineering before going to Law school ???


Have you started your BSEE yet?


Yes, half way done.


Keep that GPA up.

I've heard you don't need a masters to do patent in EE. I think it would probably be a waste of time. Though if its funded and you like studying EE, why not. Definitely wouldn't hurt.




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