patent law job: is a BS enough?

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Anonymous User
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patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:28 pm

Is a BS in biology/chemistry sufficient? I heard that a degree in engineering would qualify, but for biology/chemistry you must have a masters or phd.

what about this?

--LinkRemoved--

I know some folks with masters and phd in nanotechnology who struck out ....

Black-Blue
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Black-Blue » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:43 pm

What type of patent law are you talking about? Patent litigation? Patent Prosecution? Patent Transactional (licensing)?

For patent litigation and transactional, there are no requirements

For patent prosecution, BS in biology is not sufficient at entry level. For chemistry, if you job is for organic chemistry, BS is not sufficient at entry level, but probably sufficient if the job is for chemical engineering.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:47 pm

I think firms would still prefer science people for IP litigation even though it does not require science backgrounds, am i right?

turbotong
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby turbotong » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 pm

General TLS consensus seems to be:

Prosecution Requirements:
BS: EE,CS,CompE,related
MS/PhD: Bio,Chem,Physics,others

Litigation PREFERENCES:
Any real science/engineering background

Other factors always help. For example that Olivia character was a law teacher and has 2 BA degrees.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:25 pm

she does not seem to have 2BAs more like double major

turbotong
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby turbotong » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Isn't that 2 BA's?

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:47 pm

to say its 2BAs seem to imply that the two degrees were obtained consecutively.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is a BS in biology/chemistry sufficient? I heard that a degree in engineering would qualify, but for biology/chemistry you must have a masters or phd.

what about this?

--LinkRemoved--

I know some folks with masters and phd in nanotechnology who struck out ....


Associates in my firm's patent litigation group:
3 Bio/Chem Ph.D.'s - 1 from UC Berkeley + 2 from Caltech.
3 B.S. in EECS (Stanford)
1 Ph.D. in EE from Caltech.
Patent litigators with no science background: 3

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a BS in biology/chemistry sufficient? I heard that a degree in engineering would qualify, but for biology/chemistry you must have a masters or phd.

what about this?

--LinkRemoved--

I know some folks with masters and phd in nanotechnology who struck out ....


Associates in my firm's patent litigation group:
3 Bio/Chem Ph.D.'s - 1 from UC Berkeley + 2 from Caltech.
3 B.S. in EECS (Stanford)
1 Ph.D. in EE from Caltech.
Patent litigators with no science background: 3


How are you enjoying Irell?

headandshoulderos
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby headandshoulderos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:16 pm

there is no way somebody with a PHD is a better litigator than somebody who did BA polysci or comm but has a high technical aptitude. those phd guys, before they went to law school, trained all kinds of stuff that is counterproductive to public speaking and persuasion and analytical strategy.

before you tell me the BA has no understanding of concepts, i'm saying "high technical aptitude" i.e. can pick up CS code on their own or decode high level sci concepts with a little help.

sorry but someone who spends 5-7 years doing scientific research vs someone who probably did speech and debate and only ever worried about analytical persuasion and argument interaction is a no brainer, for litigation.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:54 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:there is no way somebody with a PHD is a better litigator than somebody who did BA polysci or comm but has a high technical aptitude. those phd guys, before they went to law school, trained all kinds of stuff that is counterproductive to public speaking and persuasion and analytical strategy.

before you tell me the BA has no understanding of concepts, i'm saying "high technical aptitude" i.e. can pick up CS code on their own or decode high level sci concepts with a little help.

sorry but someone who spends 5-7 years doing scientific research vs someone who probably did speech and debate and only ever worried about analytical persuasion and argument interaction is a no brainer, for litigation.


Firms don't hire people with technical credentials for their skills. They hire them because they look good on paper to their clients (who sometimes happen to be these engineers who you say have inferior analytical skills). When you go into a pitch, clients like seeing "PhD Electrical Engineering - Stanford University" because it conveys: 1. they are smart as hell, 2. they at least speak the same vocabulary as some of their engineers, and 3. they prefer seeing paper credentials rather than taking you at your word when you say:"our attorneys have great persuasion and analytical skills!".

headandshoulderos
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby headandshoulderos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:03 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
headandshoulderos wrote:there is no way somebody with a PHD is a better litigator than somebody who did BA polysci or comm but has a high technical aptitude. those phd guys, before they went to law school, trained all kinds of stuff that is counterproductive to public speaking and persuasion and analytical strategy.

before you tell me the BA has no understanding of concepts, i'm saying "high technical aptitude" i.e. can pick up CS code on their own or decode high level sci concepts with a little help.

sorry but someone who spends 5-7 years doing scientific research vs someone who probably did speech and debate and only ever worried about analytical persuasion and argument interaction is a no brainer, for litigation.


Firms don't hire people with technical credentials for their skills. They hire them because they look good on paper to their clients (who sometimes happen to be these engineers who you say have inferior analytical skills). When you go into a pitch, clients like seeing "PhD Electrical Engineering - Stanford University" because it conveys: 1. they are smart as hell, 2. they at least speak the same vocabulary as some of their engineers, and 3. they prefer seeing paper credentials rather than taking you at your word when you say:"our attorneys have great persuasion and analytical skills!".


ok, i'm not contesting firms might dress up a science phd better. but i'm saying as far as what makes a good patent (because for copyright/trademark/unfair comp there's no question) litigator, i don't think a PHD helps and it might even hurt. All IP litigators I talked to during OCI said they never used their PHD knowledge if they had one, and the ones with English BA's said they never felt disadvantaged. Over time, your work experience and case history will impress a client as much as a diploma.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:18 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
headandshoulderos wrote:there is no way somebody with a PHD is a better litigator than somebody who did BA polysci or comm but has a high technical aptitude. those phd guys, before they went to law school, trained all kinds of stuff that is counterproductive to public speaking and persuasion and analytical strategy.

before you tell me the BA has no understanding of concepts, i'm saying "high technical aptitude" i.e. can pick up CS code on their own or decode high level sci concepts with a little help.

sorry but someone who spends 5-7 years doing scientific research vs someone who probably did speech and debate and only ever worried about analytical persuasion and argument interaction is a no brainer, for litigation.


Firms don't hire people with technical credentials for their skills. They hire them because they look good on paper to their clients (who sometimes happen to be these engineers who you say have inferior analytical skills). When you go into a pitch, clients like seeing "PhD Electrical Engineering - Stanford University" because it conveys: 1. they are smart as hell, 2. they at least speak the same vocabulary as some of their engineers, and 3. they prefer seeing paper credentials rather than taking you at your word when you say:"our attorneys have great persuasion and analytical skills!".


ok, i'm not contesting firms might dress up a science phd better. but i'm saying as far as what makes a good patent (because for copyright/trademark/unfair comp there's no question) litigator, i don't think a PHD helps and it might even hurt. All IP litigators I talked to during OCI said they never used their PHD knowledge if they had one, and the ones with English BA's said they never felt disadvantaged. Over time, your work experience and case history will impress a client as much as a diploma.


I think we agree on your basic point. In IP litigation, the facts of cases are going to vary so much that what you learn from one case (aside from rote discovery "skills" that even shitlaw attorneys can master) will have literally nothing to do with what you learn from another case. In one case you could be working on some kind of biotech patent dealing with the patentability of a gene. In another case you might be working on an ITC 337 claim and establishing jurisdiction by proving there is a domestic injury. In yet another case you could be working on some CAN-SPAM/privacy related litigation with an IP issue thrown in the mix. So what makes you a good litigator makes you a good IP litigator, for the most part. A technical degree just gives you bona fides in engineering circles and prepares your mind to more quickly understand the unique/novel/patentable aspects of your clients' technologies.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby wiseowl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:47 pm

tee hee, someone still thinks litigation is about eloquent epistles in a courtroom

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:47 pm

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:A technical degree just gives you bona fides in engineering circles and prepares your mind to more quickly understand the unique/novel/patentable aspects of your clients' technologies.


I've always felt that actual experience as an engineer is much more valuable than an MS or PhD, especially if you worked in a patent-heavy field. You understand the lingo, the players in the field, how technology departments are organized, etc. It's easier to communicate with other technical people, and it's nice to surprise an engineer in a conversation when they ask what company you are an engineer at and you reply that you're actually a lawyer. What you learn in school is good background material, but what you do in the industry tends to be different. I think that it may be especially useful in fields like patent prosecution where there's more interaction with the inventors and clients.

When I worked in-house, actual technical work experience was what was emphasized in the PowerPoint presentations that prospective firms would send in. Also when I interviewed around, people always emphasized my work experience rather than my MSEE.

I imagine it may be different in the sciences.

headandshoulderos
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby headandshoulderos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:04 pm

wiseowl wrote:tee hee, someone still thinks litigation is about eloquent epistles in a courtroom


tee hee, someone doesn't realize that patent litigations often go to a jury (or at least much more so than other litigations). also, analytic argument and persuasion is about writing, not just speaking. now you'll probably say lawyers don't write, they just review documents, right? predictable schtick is predictable.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby wiseowl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:21 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:
wiseowl wrote:tee hee, someone still thinks litigation is about eloquent epistles in a courtroom


tee hee, someone doesn't realize that patent litigations often go to a jury (or at least much more so than other litigations). also, analytic argument and persuasion is about writing, not just speaking. now you'll probably say lawyers don't write, they just review documents, right? predictable schtick is predictable.


I'm intimately aware of the situation with patent litigations, thanks. Lawyers do a ton of writing - it's the majority of what they do. Which is why if a science PhD "hurts" in patent litigation (utterly laughable), then "speech and debate" training is pretty close to irrelevant as well. Newsflash: you aren't saying anything out loud in a patent litigation other than "objection: argumentative" while defending a deposition until you've been in a firm for many years.

Some PhDs are complete nerds who will hurt a case in front of a jury. Some debaters are too.

By the way, a quick Google shows varying rates of 1-4% of patent cases going to trial. This is hardly "much more" than any other type. Validity has to go to a jury more than a lot of litigable issues, yes, but think about it: why, if at all possible, would two companies with millions on the line ever leave it to lay people to settle their bet-the-company disputes?

headandshoulderos
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby headandshoulderos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:35 pm

wiseowl wrote:
headandshoulderos wrote:
wiseowl wrote:tee hee, someone still thinks litigation is about eloquent epistles in a courtroom


tee hee, someone doesn't realize that patent litigations often go to a jury (or at least much more so than other litigations). also, analytic argument and persuasion is about writing, not just speaking. now you'll probably say lawyers don't write, they just review documents, right? predictable schtick is predictable.


I'm intimately aware of the situation with patent litigations, thanks. Lawyers do a ton of writing - it's the majority of what they do. Which is why if a science PhD "hurts" in patent litigation (utterly laughable), then "speech and debate" training is pretty close to irrelevant as well. Newsflash: you aren't saying anything out loud in a patent litigation other than "objection: argumentative" while defending a deposition until you've been in a firm for many years.

Some PhDs are complete nerds who will hurt a case in front of a jury. Some debaters are too.

By the way, a quick Google shows varying rates of 1-4% of patent cases going to trial. This is hardly "much more" than any other type. Validity has to go to a jury more than a lot of litigable issues, yes, but think about it: why, if at all possible, would two companies with millions on the line ever leave it to lay people to settle their bet-the-company disputes?


called it

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wiseowl
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby wiseowl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:49 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:
wiseowl wrote:
headandshoulderos wrote:
wiseowl wrote:tee hee, someone still thinks litigation is about eloquent epistles in a courtroom


tee hee, someone doesn't realize that patent litigations often go to a jury (or at least much more so than other litigations). also, analytic argument and persuasion is about writing, not just speaking. now you'll probably say lawyers don't write, they just review documents, right? predictable schtick is predictable.


I'm intimately aware of the situation with patent litigations, thanks. Lawyers do a ton of writing - it's the majority of what they do. Which is why if a science PhD "hurts" in patent litigation (utterly laughable), then "speech and debate" training is pretty close to irrelevant as well. Newsflash: you aren't saying anything out loud in a patent litigation other than "objection: argumentative" while defending a deposition until you've been in a firm for many years.

Some PhDs are complete nerds who will hurt a case in front of a jury. Some debaters are too.

By the way, a quick Google shows varying rates of 1-4% of patent cases going to trial. This is hardly "much more" than any other type. Validity has to go to a jury more than a lot of litigable issues, yes, but think about it: why, if at all possible, would two companies with millions on the line ever leave it to lay people to settle their bet-the-company disputes?


called it


Responsive, in every way. You've had quite a first week on the board. Congrats.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:A technical degree just gives you bona fides in engineering circles and prepares your mind to more quickly understand the unique/novel/patentable aspects of your clients' technologies.


I've always felt that actual experience as an engineer is much more valuable than an MS or PhD, especially if you worked in a patent-heavy field. You understand the lingo, the players in the field, how technology departments are organized, etc. It's easier to communicate with other technical people, and it's nice to surprise an engineer in a conversation when they ask what company you are an engineer at and you reply that you're actually a lawyer. What you learn in school is good background material, but what you do in the industry tends to be different. I think that it may be especially useful in fields like patent prosecution where there's more interaction with the inventors and clients.

When I worked in-house, actual technical work experience was what was emphasized in the PowerPoint presentations that prospective firms would send in. Also when I interviewed around, people always emphasized my work experience rather than my MSEE.

I imagine it may be different in the sciences.


I guess that's because you don't have a Ph.D. in EE.

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Julio_El_Chavo wrote:A technical degree just gives you bona fides in engineering circles and prepares your mind to more quickly understand the unique/novel/patentable aspects of your clients' technologies.


I've always felt that actual experience as an engineer is much more valuable than an MS or PhD, especially if you worked in a patent-heavy field. You understand the lingo, the players in the field, how technology departments are organized, etc. It's easier to communicate with other technical people, and it's nice to surprise an engineer in a conversation when they ask what company you are an engineer at and you reply that you're actually a lawyer. What you learn in school is good background material, but what you do in the industry tends to be different. I think that it may be especially useful in fields like patent prosecution where there's more interaction with the inventors and clients.

When I worked in-house, actual technical work experience was what was emphasized in the PowerPoint presentations that prospective firms would send in. Also when I interviewed around, people always emphasized my work experience rather than my MSEE.

I imagine it may be different in the sciences.


I guess that's because you don't have a Ph.D. in EE.


Haha :)

But even from the few PhDs in EE and related fields that I know, that's their feeling. Academia is just different than industry (in engineering), and industry experience is very valuable. I've had PhDs who went straight to law school wish that they stopped at their MS and got work experience instead. The exception seems to be the more science types (material science types from people I know).

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:55 pm

It really depends on your work experience. Engineering work could vary from being extremely menial/mindless to extremely challenge/cutting-edge. Then again, conversing with lawyers during job interviews makes it easier to frame your engineering work experience as cutting-edge since they usually have no idea what you are talking about. :D

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Re: patent law job: is a BS enough?

Postby Black-Blue » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:29 pm

headandshoulderos wrote:tee hee, someone doesn't realize that patent litigations often go to a jury (or at least much more so than other litigations). also, analytic argument and persuasion is about writing, not just speaking. now you'll probably say lawyers don't write, they just review documents, right? predictable schtick is predictable.

The jury isn't important in patent litigation. What really matters in patent litigation is the Markman hearing, which is conducted with a judge. Once the Markman hearing is over, the case is pretty much over and the jury is just a formality if the other side doesn't settle.




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