IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

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IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:12 am

I searched the site for awhile and couldn't find much on this topic. If its already been discussed somewhere, someone please point me in the right direction.

I have an upcoming interview with an IP firm. However, I'm not patent bar eligible (I have a finance degree). I'm not sure how much patent prosecution the firm does compared to trademark/copyright/litigation, but the firms website really emphasizing the number of patents they prosecute per year.

How can I frame myself to make me a strong candidate even though I don't have a technical background? I'm primarily am interested in litigation, so I obviously will emphasize that. Any other advice?

Thanks!

anonymous2012
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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby anonymous2012 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:08 am

I don't think there is anyway to make yourself an attractive candidate for patent prosecution without a patent bar eligible degree.

Focus on copyright and trademark.

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Dr. Review
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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:11 am

Dig through bios on the firm website. Find people who don't have a technical degree or who don't focus on patent prosecution. Learn what they do and find a way to incorporate those types of practices into your statements about goals and interests. Beyond that... it's often a tough sell.

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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:59 am

Bedsole wrote:Dig through bios on the firm website. Find people who don't have a technical degree or who don't focus on patent prosecution. Learn what they do and find a way to incorporate those types of practices into your statements about goals and interests. Beyond that... it's often a tough sell.
Anonymous User wrote:I searched the site for awhile and couldn't find much on this topic. If its already been discussed somewhere, someone please point me in the right direction.

I have an upcoming interview with an IP firm. However, I'm not patent bar eligible (I have a finance degree). I'm not sure how much patent prosecution the firm does compared to trademark/copyright/litigation, but the firms website really emphasizing the number of patents they prosecute per year.

How can I frame myself to make me a strong candidate even though I don't have a technical background? I'm primarily am interested in litigation, so I obviously will emphasize that. Any other advice?

Thanks!


You definitely can't sell yourself as a patent prosecution candidate without a technical background, but you can on IP litigation. In fact, the firm wouldn't be bringing you in for an interview if they were only interested in patent prosecution attorneys. I actually spent the second half of my 2L summer at a IP Lit firm and I have an Econ degree. I think you need to focus on whatever strengths you have for litigation just like you would in any other interview, and tell them that you find the Trademark/Copyright topics more interesting than traditional commercial litigation (Note, before you say this, make sure that the firm doesn't have a small commercial litigation practice as well. Fish & Richardson, for example, does have a commercial litigation practice even though they are IP focused.). If you get an interviewer without an engineering/tech background, I would ask that person how not having a tech background has impacted their practice with the firm. I found that non-engineering IP litigators enjoyed discrediting the idea that a tech background is required.

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Lothrop Stoddard
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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Lothrop Stoddard » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:05 pm

It sounds like they're probably interested in you for their copyright/trademark practice.

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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby ipguy » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:36 pm

Don't try and sell yourself as a patent lit candidate. Sell interest in IP, but the days of coming off the street and being ushered in to a patent lit gig w/o a technical background are dead (unless you're talking some rinky dink action). It is a complete disservice when schools tell people "you don't need to be patent bar elligible to do patent lit, only pros"

Sure, it is TECHNICALLY true, just like TECHNICALLY you can work at a V10 with a 2.0 from a TTT, it just isn't likely and you shouldn't plan on it.

Seeing as you don't have that background and they gave you the interview, they want you for something, just focus on your interests and go from there. Sell an interest in lit, but really avoid trying to sell yourself as a patent litigator.

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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Agent » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:25 pm

Glad to chat with you via PM, but I'd need either the firm name or more details.

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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby ATR » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:59 pm

ipguy wrote:Don't try and sell yourself as a patent lit candidate. Sell interest in IP, but the days of coming off the street and being ushered in to a patent lit gig w/o a technical background are dead (unless you're talking some rinky dink action). It is a complete disservice when schools tell people "you don't need to be patent bar elligible to do patent lit, only pros"

Sure, it is TECHNICALLY true, just like TECHNICALLY you can work at a V10 with a 2.0 from a TTT, it just isn't likely and you shouldn't plan on it.

Seeing as you don't have that background and they gave you the interview, they want you for something, just focus on your interests and go from there. Sell an interest in lit, but really avoid trying to sell yourself as a patent litigator.

Unlike this poster, I would say that you should express interest in patent litigation if you truly have it. Why would you give up a possible opportunity at the outset without trying? They gave you an interview, after all. However, express strong interest in soft IP too. Getting a patent litigation job without a technical degree is possible. Both myself and my friend from LS got patent litigation jobs at Chambers Band 1 firms for their markets -- neither of us have a technical degree. While I'm not saying it's likely that you'll get a patent litigation job, the poster I quoted's absolutist perspective isn't completely accurate.

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Re: IP Interview - How to frame yourself w/out technical degree

Postby Mizz » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:16 pm

ATR wrote: Unlike this poster, I would say that you should express interest in patent litigation if you truly have it. Why would you give up a possible opportunity at the outset without trying? They gave you an interview, after all. However, express strong interest in soft IP too. Getting a patent litigation job without a technical degree is possible. Both myself and my friend from LS got patent litigation jobs at Chambers Band 1 firms for their markets -- neither of us have a technical degree. While I'm not saying it's likely that you'll get a patent litigation job, the poster I quoted's absolutist perspective isn't completely accurate.



I agree with this. If you have taken or are planning to take IP classes, use that to your advantage in selling why you want to do IP. I know of several firms this year that interviewed and hired non-tech background people, including firms like Fish. One of the biggest reasons patent lit groups like tech backgrounds is because they aren't going to be scared off by technical terms in the patent. So if you have a way to show or can convince the firm that you aren't going to run at the first sight of technical jargon that'll be a definite plus.




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