IP law question

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Gatorbull84
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IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:14 am

I' am not sure if this is the right forum for this question but oh well. I was wondering what requirements are needed to practice IP law. I was under the impression that you need to be an engineer or have a PhD in a hard science. Does anyone know if that is true?

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: IP law question

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:19 am

The only instance in which it (engineering or science degree) is required is for patent prosecution, since the patent office has background requirements to sit for the patent bar. For the rest of ip, it is more of an advantage and less of a requirement.

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:57 am

Thanks, I was wondering about that. What about job prospects? Will firms favor people with engineering backgrounds or do they just care about passing the patent bar and your law school grades?

Black-Blue
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Re: IP law question

Postby Black-Blue » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:25 pm

If it's pure prosecution, then your background is more important than law school grades. So it's far better to have a PhD at a T1 than a BS at a T14.

If it's pure litigation, then your law school grades are more important than your background.

If it's a mix of the two, then it would be somewhere in between those two ends.

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Bosque
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Re: IP law question

Postby Bosque » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:19 pm

Black-Blue wrote:If it's pure prosecution, then your background is more important than law school grades. So it's far better to have a PhD at a T1 than a BS at a T14.

If it's pure litigation, then your law school grades are more important than your background.

If it's a mix of the two, then it would be somewhere in between those two ends.


I think this paints a rosier picture for the OP than what reality actually entails. OP, the above posters are right that the background is more important for Prosecution. They are also right that for litigation your law school and grades are probably more important than where you got your tech background and how advanced it is.

However, you still need that background to get hired to do IP litigation straight out of law school. If you are an English major, no one is going to hire you to do IP lit. There are some IP litigators with no technical background, but almost every one of them was hired to do general litigation. Over time they transitioned into IP specific litigation. If you are looking to do lit straight out of school (especially at an IP Boutique), then you are likely still SOL.

Sorry mate.

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:45 pm

I am an engineer. I was just wondering why so many bio majors are going to law school for the main purposeof doing IP

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drdolittle
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Re: IP law question

Postby drdolittle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:35 am

Gatorbull84 wrote:I am an engineer. I was just wondering why so many bio majors are going to law school for the main purposeof doing IP


This is because an undergrad Bio degree is not worth very much these days. A Bio M.S. is adequate typically only for the lowest level biotech jobs out there and overall there are still too many Bio-related PhDs being awarded nationwide for the number of appropriate positions available. (i.e. the Bio sector is over-saturated at every level).

Black-Blue
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Re: IP law question

Postby Black-Blue » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:18 am

I have not observe a disproportionately large number of bio majors going to law school. Only some of those that do are interested in IP, while others are interested in fields like healthcare law. Maybe that's just my experience.

thegor1987
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Re: IP law question

Postby thegor1987 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:36 am

Gatorbull84 wrote:I am an engineer. I was just wondering why so many bio majors are going to law school for the main purposeof doing IP


I think a lot of pharmaceutical drug development involves Biology, no?

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:57 am

Ya that makes sense. It just throws me off because while I was in grad school there were a large number of PhD's thinking about going to law school with the intent of practicing IP.

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paratactical
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Re: IP law question

Postby paratactical » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:05 am

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thegor1987
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Re: IP law question

Postby thegor1987 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:11 am

But to answer your question, no you do not need a PhD to write patents. You need a degree in science or engineering and pass the patent bar. I just assumed you meant if you needed a PhD in terms of finding a job because the economy is down. That is the harder question anyways. It sounds like you are already have a PhD, do you mind sharing which subject it is in?

Black-Blue
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Re: IP law question

Postby Black-Blue » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:51 am

Well, if you're stretching it, you don't even need a science or engineering degree to take the patent bar. Lots of premed track students in humanities field will have enough science credits to sit for the patent bar, or if not, can easily make it up by taking classes at a community college or the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.

digitalcntrl
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Re: IP law question

Postby digitalcntrl » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:41 am

drdolittle wrote:
Gatorbull84 wrote:I am an engineer. I was just wondering why so many bio majors are going to law school for the main purposeof doing IP


This is because an undergrad Bio degree is not worth very much these days. A Bio M.S. is adequate typically only for the lowest level biotech jobs out there and overall there are still too many Bio-related PhDs being awarded nationwide for the number of appropriate positions available. (i.e. the Bio sector is over-saturated at every level).


Why are there some bio grads? Failed pre-meds?

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:49 am

thegor1987 wrote:But to answer your question, no you do not need a PhD to write patents. You need a degree in science or engineering and pass the patent bar. I just assumed you meant if you needed a PhD in terms of finding a job because the economy is down. That is the harder question anyways. It sounds like you are already have a PhD, do you mind sharing which subject it is in?



I am an engineer with a masters. I was just wondering because everything I have heard has pretty much been the same thing you guys are saying. And I know a few people with basic science degrees tying to get into Patent Law and they are having trouble. I was wondering if it was the economy or the fact that most firms want hard science or both

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:50 am

Black-Blue wrote:Well, if you're stretching it, you don't even need a science or engineering degree to take the patent bar. Lots of premed track students in humanities field will have enough science credits to sit for the patent bar, or if not, can easily make it up by taking classes at a community college or the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.



Im pretty sure that last part is incorrect. To take the FE they require an engineering degree or a strongly related field. At least that is the way it was explained to me

Gatorbull84
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Re: IP law question

Postby Gatorbull84 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:52 am

Can you guys recommend any law schools that have solid patent law program? Some of the schools I applied to didn't even have IP law on their checklist

Black-Blue
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Re: IP law question

Postby Black-Blue » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:13 pm

Gatorbull84 wrote:I am an engineer with a masters. I was just wondering because everything I have heard has pretty much been the same thing you guys are saying. And I know a few people with basic science degrees tying to get into Patent Law and they are having trouble. I was wondering if it was the economy or the fact that most firms want hard science or both

Mostly because of changing economy and increased competition. A decade or two ago, people were bending over to recruit patent attorneys, and back then you could easily go into patent prosecution with a bio undergrad. Nowadays, there's a glut of patent attorneys, so firms can easily pick and choose among a vast pool of candidates. Bio patent was the first major field to require PhDs. Now, chem is heading into that direction. Maybe in the far future, even EE will require PhDs.

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Bosque
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Re: IP law question

Postby Bosque » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:57 am

Gatorbull84 wrote:Can you guys recommend any law schools that have solid patent law program? Some of the schools I applied to didn't even have IP law on their checklist


T18 + GW.

smc44
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Re: IP law question

Postby smc44 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:44 pm

Gatorbull84 wrote:
Black-Blue wrote:Well, if you're stretching it, you don't even need a science or engineering degree to take the patent bar. Lots of premed track students in humanities field will have enough science credits to sit for the patent bar, or if not, can easily make it up by taking classes at a community college or the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.



Im pretty sure that last part is incorrect. To take the FE they require an engineering degree or a strongly related field. At least that is the way it was explained to me


In most states this is true. There is no prerequisite (besides a bachelor's degree) to take the FE in New Hampshire.




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