What is IP / Patent Law?

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qsbptl
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What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby qsbptl » Mon May 09, 2011 1:23 am

Hi,

this is my first post. I am a former pre-med biology major with a boring job with no real future. I am currently researching other career paths, and one of my friends in law school mentioned something about a lot of pre-med kids at his law school trying to get into IP / patent law.

1) What, in a nutshell, is IP / patent law? Is this some mythical field of law like international law?

2) Why is it that IP / patent law is reserved for pre-med types?

3) He mentioned that the pre-med IP / patent law kids passed the patent bar prior to attending law school. I thought bar exams were for AFTER law school. How does this work?

Basically, I am JUST beginning my research regarding IP / patent law, and I'd appreciate some explanations / opinions directly from those who know what's up. The simpler the explanation, the better. Thanks a bunch, guys.

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dood
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby dood » Mon May 09, 2011 1:54 am

1. u have a patent, some chinese company copies it and sells it in the US. u bring lawsuit.
2. not just pre-med, but all science majors, because ur patent involves some hi-tech shit that wasn't covered in basket-weaving 101.
3. anyone meeting IP bar requirements (many things, but basically a science UG degree) can pass the bar and be granted status as a patent AGENT, whereupon u can practice only before the us patent and trademark office (but not for example in a fed district court). when u get ur law degree, u are a patent ATTORNEY.

jhett
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby jhett » Mon May 09, 2011 12:08 pm

To expand upon dood's comments:

1. Intellectual property law encompasses patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. It is not mythical but a very real practice area of law. Patent law specifically deals with the grant of patents (the right to exclude others from practicing a certain invention) and subsequent patent infringement law suits.

2. Patent prosecution (the process of writing patent applications and arguing with the US Patent Office to receive a patent) requires a technical degree. You have to pass the patent bar exam (but don't have to be an attorney) in order to prosecute patents. Other forms of IP law (litigation, copyright, trademark) do not require any technical background but some firms may prefer people with such backgrounds.

3. See above. The patent bar exam is separate from the regular bar exam that everyone must take in order to practice as a lawyer.

Note that before you go too far down the road investigating IP law as a career, pre-med biology is not a major that is in demand in IP. In the biology/biotech/pharma field, most firms seek a Masters, MD, or PhD rather than a lowly Bachelors because the subject matter is usually quite advanced.

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DavidYurman85
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby DavidYurman85 » Mon May 09, 2011 12:53 pm

jhett wrote:To expand upon dood's comments:

1. Intellectual property law encompasses patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. It is not mythical but a very real practice area of law. Patent law specifically deals with the grant of patents (the right to exclude others from practicing a certain invention) and subsequent patent infringement law suits.

2. Patent prosecution (the process of writing patent applications and arguing with the US Patent Office to receive a patent) requires a technical degree. You have to pass the patent bar exam (but don't have to be an attorney) in order to prosecute patents. Other forms of IP law (litigation, copyright, trademark) do not require any technical background but some firms may prefer people with such backgrounds.

3. See above. The patent bar exam is separate from the regular bar exam that everyone must take in order to practice as a lawyer.

Note that before you go too far down the road investigating IP law as a career, pre-med biology is not a major that is in demand in IP. In the biology/biotech/pharma field, most firms seek a Masters, MD, or PhD rather than a lowly Bachelors because the subject matter is usually quite advanced.


+1 to the above. g/f is an ip attorney and she's mentioned to a few people that the more desirable ug backgrounds are electrical engineering/computer science.

LogosEther
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby LogosEther » Mon May 09, 2011 1:49 pm

1: What they said.

2: What they said. A technical background is legally required for patent prosecution, and it's usually preferred for patent litigation. Copyright and Trademark work does not require it, and most firms just want to see a dedication to that subject matter. The job situation in IP is overall considered a bit better because of this limiting factor.

3: Note that you DO NOT have to take the patent bar before you enter law school. You can take it during law school, over a summer, or after law school (though some firms might want you to take it during).

Some people say that a BS in Biology isn't as good as some other majors, and they're right. Still, that doesn't mean you can't get a job. It really depends on how well you do in law school, and a bunch of other factors. Some firms' ideology might be that they just want someone who is smart (proven by good LS grades) and prosecution-eligible (bio major), regardless of your undergrad major. That being said, read what other people say on this board because getting a legal job isn't a walk in the park, even if you're IP.

jdhopeful14
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby jdhopeful14 » Tue May 10, 2011 7:09 am

IP law is no longer in demand. It was ~5 yrs ago or so, but now this field is getting ever more crowded. There is no shortage of previously unemployed/underemployed science and engineering phd's entering the field, so pre-med probably won't cut it.

turbotong
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby turbotong » Tue May 10, 2011 9:37 am

jdhopeful14 wrote:IP law is no longer in demand. It was ~5 yrs ago or so, but now this field is getting ever more crowded. There is no shortage of previously unemployed/underemployed science and engineering phd's entering the field, so pre-med probably won't cut it.

Really? What makes you think its overcrowded

jdhopeful14
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby jdhopeful14 » Tue May 10, 2011 12:40 pm

turbotong wrote:
jdhopeful14 wrote:IP law is no longer in demand. It was ~5 yrs ago or so, but now this field is getting ever more crowded. There is no shortage of previously unemployed/underemployed science and engineering phd's entering the field, so pre-med probably won't cut it.

Really? What makes you think its overcrowded


I never said it was overcrowded. I said it's becoming ever more crowded, to the point where supply has finally met demand. Do you really believe there's a shortage of qualified IP lawyers out there?

Anonymous User
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 10, 2011 12:51 pm

[quote= Do you really believe there's a shortage of qualified IP lawyers out there?[/quote]

Yes.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue May 10, 2011 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes.


CSB, anon-abuser. Care to elaborate?

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skw
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby skw » Tue May 10, 2011 1:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:[quote= Do you really believe there's a shortage of qualified IP lawyers out there?


Yes.[/quote]

This. For transparency I am a 0L starting law school at Carolina this fall. With that said my husband and I were at a cocktail party last weekend where I talked with a senior partner at a local firm and the CTO and CEO of a local biotech. All were of the opinion that highly qualified recent law grads are sought after in IP (at least in our area -- Research Triangle Park, NC).

I have a BS in Biology and 12 years of industry experience and was told by the CEO and the partner to contact them as soon as 1L first semester grades are available regarding summer employment. IMO this proves IP law is not saturated.

jdhopeful14
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby jdhopeful14 » Tue May 10, 2011 1:21 pm

I have a BS in Biology and 12 years of industry experience and was told by the CEO and the partner to contact them as soon as 1L first semester grades are available regarding summer employment. IMO this proves IP law is not saturated.




The positive experience of one 0L proves that IP law as a whole is not saturated? Amazing.

Anonymous User
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 10, 2011 1:44 pm

I'm an IP associate and from the lay of the land as I see it the field is still expanding and looking for quality people. While I don't profess to be an expert in the IP market, I may have a better view than someone named "jdhopeful14."

Anonymous User
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 10, 2011 2:56 pm

skw wrote:This. For transparency I am a 0L starting law school at Carolina this fall. With that said my husband and I were at a cocktail party last weekend where I talked with a senior partner at a local firm and the CTO and CEO of a local biotech. All were of the opinion that highly qualified recent law grads are sought after in IP (at least in our area -- Research Triangle Park, NC).

I have a BS in Biology and 12 years of industry experience and was told by the CEO and the partner to contact them as soon as 1L first semester grades are available regarding summer employment. IMO this proves IP law is not saturated.


Couple of points:

1. NC firms, especially in the Triangle, will hire 1, maybe 2 summer associates each. Your industry experience will give you an edge, but if your grades aren't good it won't matter. I know Duke and UNC law review people that tried to get 1L and 2L jobs in NC and didn't.

2. Regarding your bolded statement: I'd be real careful making a blanket assumption based on a one off at a party. 1L summer is also =/= to employment after graduation.

Good luck. If you knock it out of the park grade-wise and keep networking, you've got a shot.

Signed, bitter person that wants to work in NC

071816
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby 071816 » Tue May 10, 2011 3:00 pm

This post is REALLY old, but I found it useful:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=316

LogosEther
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby LogosEther » Tue May 10, 2011 5:19 pm

jdhopeful14 wrote:IP law is no longer in demand. It was ~5 yrs ago or so, but now this field is getting ever more crowded. There is no shortage of previously unemployed/underemployed science and engineering phd's entering the field, so pre-med probably won't cut it.


Well this is semi-true. IP law no longer in demand? Mostly true. Field getting ever more crowded? Mostly true.

The key is that IP is relatively good compared to other areas of law. Actually, I should say patent law. The technical degree requirement will always keep demand up (compared to other law, not compared to other years or professional fields) because it results in a huge amount of exclusion from the profession. This does not mean it's easy to get a job in IP. It just means that it's a pro on a list of pros and cons (if we're talking big firms, who can decide into which department you will be placed or needed).

Also note that the number of patent applications is increasing at an extremely high rate (much higher than rate for population growth, etc.). Google "patent application rate" and see the patentlyo result.

turbotong
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby turbotong » Tue May 10, 2011 8:05 pm

0L here...
so who thinks I got a chance at a paid 1L summer gig? BS.EE summa cum laude with 1 yr work experience going to U Texas this fall, plan to get pat bar out of the way before august

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erico
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby erico » Tue May 10, 2011 8:26 pm

turbotong wrote:0L here...
so who thinks I got a chance at a paid 1L summer gig? BS.EE summa cum laude with 1 yr work experience going to U Texas this fall, plan to get pat bar out of the way before august


well anything > 0 is a chance...

turbotong
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby turbotong » Tue May 10, 2011 8:37 pm

who thinks i have >33% chance

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FreshMan15
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby FreshMan15 » Tue May 10, 2011 8:40 pm

1. Do you really want to practice law? Its kind of a big undertaking just because your bored of your job.
2. Why is this anon?

LogosEther
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby LogosEther » Tue May 10, 2011 11:34 pm

turbotong wrote:who thinks i have >33% chance


Do you have connections in the legal world? What are they? Where do you want to work?

Anonymous User
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 10, 2011 11:50 pm

turbotong wrote:who thinks i have >33% chance


to put some perspective on this I had 5 yrs work experience going to law school, BSCS in undergrad from a top 10 university and did not get a paid gig this summer (attend a top 20 law school).

I would not just outright say you have a > 33% chance at all.
Based on the fact that you are a 0L and have no grades and 1yr of work experience (which translates to zero years to employers) I'd say ...

good luck.

turbotong
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby turbotong » Wed May 11, 2011 1:06 am

meh. Who knows.
Things I got going for me:
I hear EE > CS
I do have nice undergrad grades
Asking about 1L opportunity, not 0L as you seem to have interpreted
Texas is now t14 =)
Economy might be better next year.
So what's your best guess as to % chance? (33 was just a wild pick)

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stratocophic
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby stratocophic » Wed May 11, 2011 1:29 am

turbotong wrote:meh. Who knows.
Things I got going for me:
I hear EE > CS
I do have nice undergrad grades
Asking about 1L opportunity, not 0L as you seem to have interpreted
Texas is now t14 =)
Economy might be better next year.
So what's your best guess as to % chance? (33 was just a wild pick)
Image

turbotong
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Re: What is IP / Patent Law?

Postby turbotong » Wed May 11, 2011 2:35 am

o.O what does charles have to do with anything




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