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UCFtau
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:55 am

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Postby UCFtau » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:35 am

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Last edited by UCFtau on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blurbz
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Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby blurbz » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:39 am

UCFtau wrote:I have read enough to know firms look for a background in engineering or a similar area of study. Pretty simple question, is this type of background required if trying to land a SA/job in IP? Or would 1L grades/class rank play just as important a factor? I am a 0L so this does not concern me in the immediate future but it would be nice to get some insight.



Generally you need a hard science background of some sort to land an SA position in IP. If you don't have that, you can start in general lit and work some soft IP cases for the firm as a way to backdoor into the field if you're really interested.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:47 am

blurbz wrote:
UCFtau wrote:I have read enough to know firms look for a background in engineering or a similar area of study. Pretty simple question, is this type of background required if trying to land a SA/job in IP? Or would 1L grades/class rank play just as important a factor? I am a 0L so this does not concern me in the immediate future but it would be nice to get some insight.



Generally you need a hard science background of some sort to land an SA position in IP. If you don't have that, you can start in general lit and work some soft IP cases for the firm as a way to backdoor into the field if you're really interested.


Generally, yes but it's not a hard and fast rule. I'm summering in IP lit at a biglaw firm with no hard science degree. If you are a self-taught CS engineer or have substantive experience in startups that can work too.

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joeshmo39
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:15 am

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby joeshmo39 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:07 am

It's helpful to have a hard science background for IP in general, but from lawyers I've spoken with I've gathered it's only needed for patent prosecution which involves actually getting a patent with the U.S. Government. Doing "soft" IP litigation doesn't require a science background. Some people say it's better to not have a technical background for some of the "soft" IP because it allows you to explain it to a jury and a judge in non-technical terms.

azntwice
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:46 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby azntwice » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:09 am

it really is an uphill battle if you don't have some kind of science degree. some firms require that you have a technical background to interview with their IP groups. you can say though that you're interested in soft IP.

lolwat
Posts: 604
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby lolwat » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:24 am

Not absolutely required, no. Unfortunately, I think it's an extreme uphill battle without such a background.

I've found that you're basically locked out of IP boutiques without a technical background, assumedly because they expect people to do some patent prosecution as well. Biglaw is random. Some require the background, others don't. You get a sense for it when you look at their website--do the vast majority (or all) of their associates have tech backgrounds?

Dickstein Shapiro, for example, expects all IP candidates to have a science/engineering background. I recall at least one other firm requiring the same, though I can't recall which one at this time (Kirkland? Foley?). Even beyond that, it could very well be that firms that don't *require* a tech background could still prefer candidates with those backgrounds, so that if they had to choose between two candidates, the one with the tech background could still have an advantage.

It's certainly not impossible, it's just more difficult. Much more.

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby chasgoose » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:20 pm

What if you want to focus on soft IP? Like media/copyright/trademark and stuff? Are there not enough firms that specialize to that degree or in that area?

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:09 am

chasgoose wrote:What if you want to focus on soft IP? Like media/copyright/trademark and stuff? Are there not enough firms that specialize to that degree or in that area?


There's 1 media/copyright/trademark job for every 50 patent jobs.

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Rock Chalk
Posts: 593
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby Rock Chalk » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:16 am

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

azntwice
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:46 pm

Re: Background needed to practice in Intellectual Property

Postby azntwice » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:05 am

Rock Chalk wrote:Definitely varies by firm, so most of the people ITT are right to an extent. Many firms have realized hard science backgrounds do not make the best IP litigators, and the trend seems to be in that direction.

Regarding the second part of your question, you probably won't even get in the door without grades, so yes, they're as important.


a hard science background can compensate for crappy grades, but you still shouldn't be a straight B student.




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