Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

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Anonymous User
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Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:38 pm

For the IP departments of top firms or even IP boutiques (patterson belknap/townsend e.g) how important is a comp/science/engineering undergrad or post-grad degree? How would you anticipate associates with technical backgrounds would fare against those without both in the hiring process and partnership prospects?

Black-Blue
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Black-Blue » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How would you anticipate associates with technical backgrounds would fare against those without both in the hiring process and partnership prospects?

The fact that they are all associates means that they fared equally well in the hiring process (in that they all got hired).

For making partner, depends on the type of work your firm has compared to your specialty, and other aspects like client development.

09042014
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For the IP departments of top firms or even IP boutiques (patterson belknap/townsend e.g) how important is a comp/science/engineering undergrad or post-grad degree? How would you anticipate associates with technical backgrounds would fare against those without both in the hiring process and partnership prospects?


I wouldn't waste your bids at OCI bidding on IP firms. Most IP boutiques require a strong tech background.

If you want to pursue IP once you get into a regular firm, it seems doable. A lot of the people in IP departments appear to have no background, and just moved into the department while working on it.


But you aren't going to get the "IP hiring" boost.

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DC_Patent_Law
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:52 pm

Depends on whether you want to do prosecution (write and obtain patents for inventors by prosecuting the patents with the USPTO) or litigate (do court cases regarding infringement).

Prosecution work absolutely requires a technical degree (can't write a patent if you don't know what you are talking about).

The litigation guys may or may not have technical degrees (seems like most of them dont have technical degrees). But these guys are mostly from T-14 schools. Litigation people make partner easily (they bring in the big bucks). My 2cents.

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adameus
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby adameus » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:18 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:Depends on whether you want to do prosecution (write and obtain patents for inventors by prosecuting the patents with the USPTO) or litigate (do court cases regarding infringement).

Prosecution work absolutely requires a technical degree (can't write a patent if you don't know what you are talking about).

The litigation guys may or may not have technical degrees (seems like most of them dont have technical degrees). But these guys are mostly from T-14 schools. Litigation people make partner easily (they bring in the big bucks). My 2cents.


No one makes partner easily.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:46 pm

I can't think of even one IP boutique that will even let you interview without the requisite background.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:49 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:I can't think of even one IP boutique that will even let you interview without the requisite background.


At the loyola patent fair, there seem to be a few GP biglaw firms that will at least look at your resume. Who knows if they will interview you or not.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:56 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:I can't think of even one IP boutique that will even let you interview without the requisite background.


The OP mentioned lack of a degree rather than lack of background. I'm not sure whether that was a deliberate use of language or not.

Are there prospects for someone who has, say, 5-10 years experience working in IT but does not have the CompSci degree that would make him/her patent bar eligible?

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:58 pm

albanach wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:I can't think of even one IP boutique that will even let you interview without the requisite background.


The OP mentioned lack of a degree rather than lack of background. I'm not sure whether that was a deliberate use of language or not.

Are there prospects for someone who has, say, 5-10 years experience working in IT but does not have the CompSci degree that would make him/her patent bar eligible?


Not for prosecution firms at least, you need to be patent bar eligible. Also IT isn't even very technical. They wouldn't get mechanics do mechanical engineering patents either.

But you might convince a firm or two.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Black-Blue » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:01 pm

Patent bar only requires a background, not degree. It's just that if you don't have the degree, you have to file more paperwork to be eligible.

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chem
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby chem » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:02 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
albanach wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:I can't think of even one IP boutique that will even let you interview without the requisite background.


The OP mentioned lack of a degree rather than lack of background. I'm not sure whether that was a deliberate use of language or not.

Are there prospects for someone who has, say, 5-10 years experience working in IT but does not have the CompSci degree that would make him/her patent bar eligible?


Not for prosecution firms at least, you need to be patent bar eligible. Also IT isn't even very technical. They wouldn't get mechanics do mechanical engineering patents either.

But you might convince a firm or two.


The only way someone with IT experience would be patent bar eligible would be to sit and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. It is their method of establishing that practical work experience has taught the equivalent of someone with a degree

Source: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/grb.pdf

Younger Abstention
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:07 pm

I used to work at an IP boutique as a paralegal. At that firm, background meant a technical or scientific degree. When I referred to background, I was referring to a degree.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:28 pm



i read through the requirements for establishing coursework if you don't have a science BA degree, but I can't tell what happens if you have significant science graduate work without a degree granted. I don't meet the alt. degree undergrad requirements, but if they counted grad school science courses, I would (50+ hrs of bio/molecular bio). Does anyone know how post-undergrad classes are handled?

thnx (sorry for hijacking the thread!)

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Omerta » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:39 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
albanach wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:


I'm a non-science person interested in IP. I didn't get interviews at the F's, but a few big firms I've talked to pre-OCI definitely said I could spend a rotation in their IP department. In my extremely limited experience, no science background means no interview from an IP boutique. However, large firms with IP departments will almost certainly look at you (with the same standards as if you were applying generally--meaning good grades required) as a potential candidate.

Plenty of patent litigators don't have science backgrounds, never seen it as a trade secrets requirement (though it could help), and it's irrelevant for trademarks and copyright.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:


i read through the requirements for establishing coursework if you don't have a science BA degree, but I can't tell what happens if you have significant science graduate work without a degree granted. I don't meet the alt. degree undergrad requirements, but if they counted grad school science courses, I would (50+ hrs of bio/molecular bio). Does anyone know how post-undergrad classes are handled?

thnx (sorry for hijacking the thread!)



to be clear, I was talking about Patent Bar eligibility with an eye to prosecution work, not just patent-related biglaw litigation. the coursework is half an M.D. degree (the basic science part), so that should be somewhat useful in pharma patent prosecution i think...

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:30 pm

Sorry if this is a hijack, but it is semi-related. I am currently a SA at a V20 firm and have been staffed on a number of patent/ip matters. Probably, more than 75% of my work has been patent litigation. I have no tech background/degree. Any thoughts on whether or not I stand a chance of ending up in this practice group? I really like the work but I am afraid that I may be putting myself in a difficult position being that almost all of the partners/senior associates I have had contact with fall into this patent litigation group.

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dood
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby dood » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:35 pm

to answer the OPs question: yes it is a fucking waste. u can spend all day differentiating between prosecution vs. litigation hiring requirements, soft IP vs. hard, firm X vs. firm Y, etc. but at the end of the day, the odds are stacked tremendously against u.

also CHECK U LOGICAL REASONING. the star IP litigator not having a tech background =/= the firm they work at does not enforce a strict hiring policy of requiring tech backgrounds. hiring standards have changed over the past 2 decades, HTH.

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dood
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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby dood » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if this is a hijack, but it is semi-related. I am currently a SA at a V20 firm and have been staffed on a number of patent/ip matters. Probably, more than 75% of my work has been patent litigation. I have no tech background/degree. Any thoughts on whether or not I stand a chance of ending up in this practice group? I really like the work but I am afraid that I may be putting myself in a difficult position being that almost all of the partners/senior associates I have had contact with fall into this patent litigation group.


once u in a firm, no one cares about ur paper requirements. if u do top-notch work and make a favorable impression on the partners, im sure ull be fine.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Omerta » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:47 am

dood wrote:to answer the OPs question: yes it is a fucking waste. u can spend all day differentiating between prosecution vs. litigation hiring requirements, soft IP vs. hard, firm X vs. firm Y, etc. but at the end of the day, the odds are stacked tremendously against u.

also CHECK U LOGICAL REASONING. the star IP litigator not having a tech background =/= the firm they work at does not enforce a strict hiring policy of requiring tech backgrounds. hiring standards have changed over the past 2 decades, HTH.


CHECK U LOGICAL REASONING. IP =/= just patents.
To say that the odds are tremendously stacked against a non-science person doing IP shit is pretty ridiculous. Yeah, the difference between patents and the rest of IP sure is nothing but splitting hairs.

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
dood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:this is not ENTIRELY accurate. tech companies like to see a big pile of doods with tech backgrounds when law firms pitch them to get work

By tech background you mean winning tech cases right? Because that's the relevant background for getting work.
Last edited by Omerta on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:49 am

dood wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry if this is a hijack, but it is semi-related. I am currently a SA at a V20 firm and have been staffed on a number of patent/ip matters. Probably, more than 75% of my work has been patent litigation. I have no tech background/degree. Any thoughts on whether or not I stand a chance of ending up in this practice group? I really like the work but I am afraid that I may be putting myself in a difficult position being that almost all of the partners/senior associates I have had contact with fall into this patent litigation group.


once u in a firm, no one cares about ur paper requirements. if u do top-notch work and make a favorable impression on the partners, im sure ull be fine.


this is not ENTIRELY accurate. tech companies like to see a big pile of doods with tech backgrounds when law firms pitch them to get work

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Re: Is going into IP without science/engineering degree a waste

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:53 am

A professor of mine who is/has been on corporate counsel for a number of Silicon Valley companies said emphatically that some of the best IP litigators he knows were English majors, so no, I wouldn't say it's a waste. He said the reason is simple: "You need to explain complex, confusing things to dumb people in the simplest way possible."

Whether it's doable out of the gates is another question. I think you'd need some relevant experience before litigating, but's it not impossible at all.




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