Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

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84651846190

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby 84651846190 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ExBiglawAssociate wrote:At least you have work in patent pros. Most patent litigators are starving for work right now, except for the IPR dweebs.


Well that assumes you can bill for all your work, which all these posts are saying isn't the case.

Having pros work means nothing if you have to cut half your hours because of fixed fees. If a partner is breathing down your neck because the client refuses to pay more than $6k for something that should cost $10-20k, you don't get to stop when you hit $6k, or to say "Hey it's going to cost more, either you raise the budget or this is all you get"--you're going to be told to "learn to be more efficient" (i.e., don't make the rest of the billables over the $6k the partner's problem). If you get to be the lucky person who is determined to be "efficient," you may get stuck with all the $6k-clients, causing you to end up being in the office doing 12-14 hours of work, of which you can only bill like 6 hours.


If you can bill for any of your work, it's better than billing for zero work. I hear what you're saying, but any honest assessment of patent lit vs. patent pros will show you that patent pros gives you much better options in the short and long terms.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby bern victim » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:02 pm

ExBiglawAssociate wrote:At least you have work in patent pros. Most patent litigators are starving for work right now, except for the IPR dweebs.

is this really true? i'm drowning in it

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby 84651846190 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:24 pm

bern victim wrote:
ExBiglawAssociate wrote:At least you have work in patent pros. Most patent litigators are starving for work right now, except for the IPR dweebs.

is this really true? i'm drowning in it

Quinn laid off like half of their attorneys. Lateral hiring is the lowest it's ever been in 2 decades. District court filings are way down. Money damages awarded by year are a small fraction of what they were in the past.

Some people are bound to be living large in every practice group. As a whole, patent lit is not doing well right now.

Also, there will be more work for grunt-level juniors at big firms, because that's where the leverage and $$$ is, but these folks just get churned through until the next crop of law grads come through. Work is much harder to come by once you're a senior associate. The only 6+ year position worse than a patent lit associate without a book of business is a regular commercial lit associate without a book.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:23 am

I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.



i agree on both comments. although i would add that many of the up and coming private companies (think cloudara, palantir, jawbone, etc.) still have great pros budgets and rely heavily on the expertise of outside counsel. their inventors tend to be easier to work with compared to startups as well. startup inventors are typically still in "marketing" mode from obtaining funding/customers which can be a bit of a pain when it comes time to do invention disclosure meetings.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby orangered » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:16 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.



i agree on both comments. although i would add that many of the up and coming private companies (think cloudara, palantir, jawbone, etc.) still have great pros budgets and rely heavily on the expertise of outside counsel. their inventors tend to be easier to work with compared to startups as well. startup inventors are typically still in "marketing" mode from obtaining funding/customers which can be a bit of a pain when it comes time to do invention disclosure meetings.


This matches my experience. Prosecution is one of those rare areas of law where bigger and more famous clients = shittier work. When you're a giant tech company, a patent is just a number. Their competitive advantage is not really from their IP but from being massive and entrenched, and the only real use they have for patents is in cross-licensing deals with similarly large corporations where all that matters is the number of patents owned by each side. The trick to getting interesting work as a prosecutor is to get funded startups and emerging companies that are doing useful things; they need the patent to be high quality and can pay for it.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby SplitMyPants » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:12 pm

orangered wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.



i agree on both comments. although i would add that many of the up and coming private companies (think cloudara, palantir, jawbone, etc.) still have great pros budgets and rely heavily on the expertise of outside counsel. their inventors tend to be easier to work with compared to startups as well. startup inventors are typically still in "marketing" mode from obtaining funding/customers which can be a bit of a pain when it comes time to do invention disclosure meetings.


This matches my experience. Prosecution is one of those rare areas of law where bigger and more famous clients = shittier work. When you're a giant tech company, a patent is just a number. Their competitive advantage is not really from their IP but from being massive and entrenched, and the only real use they have for patents is in cross-licensing deals with similarly large corporations where all that matters is the number of patents owned by each side. The trick to getting interesting work as a prosecutor is to get funded startups and emerging companies that are doing useful things; they need the patent to be high quality and can pay for it.


To that end, do you view boutiques as a better option generally?

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:42 pm

orangered wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.



i agree on both comments. although i would add that many of the up and coming private companies (think cloudara, palantir, jawbone, etc.) still have great pros budgets and rely heavily on the expertise of outside counsel. their inventors tend to be easier to work with compared to startups as well. startup inventors are typically still in "marketing" mode from obtaining funding/customers which can be a bit of a pain when it comes time to do invention disclosure meetings.


This matches my experience. Prosecution is one of those rare areas of law where bigger and more famous clients = shittier work. When you're a giant tech company, a patent is just a number. Their competitive advantage is not really from their IP but from being massive and entrenched, and the only real use they have for patents is in cross-licensing deals with similarly large corporations where all that matters is the number of patents owned by each side. The trick to getting interesting work as a prosecutor is to get funded startups and emerging companies that are doing useful things; they need the patent to be high quality and can pay for it.


Some exceptions to the established/bigger clients = shittier work would be the few companies that are licensing or litigation oriented.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:22 am

SplitMyPants wrote:
orangered wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think that the future of patent prosecution is the percentage-billed model firms, many of which are remote attorney firms. Less profits for partners.

If I was staying at a firm, I would focus on startup work. Those patent applications are in the $15k-$20k range and they have no in-house reviewers.



i agree on both comments. although i would add that many of the up and coming private companies (think cloudara, palantir, jawbone, etc.) still have great pros budgets and rely heavily on the expertise of outside counsel. their inventors tend to be easier to work with compared to startups as well. startup inventors are typically still in "marketing" mode from obtaining funding/customers which can be a bit of a pain when it comes time to do invention disclosure meetings.


This matches my experience. Prosecution is one of those rare areas of law where bigger and more famous clients = shittier work. When you're a giant tech company, a patent is just a number. Their competitive advantage is not really from their IP but from being massive and entrenched, and the only real use they have for patents is in cross-licensing deals with similarly large corporations where all that matters is the number of patents owned by each side. The trick to getting interesting work as a prosecutor is to get funded startups and emerging companies that are doing useful things; they need the patent to be high quality and can pay for it.


To that end, do you view boutiques as a better option generally?


i think that boutique vs gp is a hard answer to pin down. a lot of it depends on what your long term goals are. do you want to go in house? do you want to be a patent prosecutor at a firm long term and eventually try and bring in clients and make partner? do you prefer lifestyle over compensation or vice versa? and also there is a lot of variation in the way gp's and boutiques handle their practice groups.

if you want to go in house, then a gp or large boutique will probably be the better option. most in house postings i see want "x years of experience at a large law firm" or something to that tune. which is funny because a lot of big companies are going to these small (5-50 person) boutiques for their pros because of budget constraints yet they would never hire in house attorneys from these firms.

if you want to be in a firm long term then a boutique (probably on the small side) would probably be the better option because you'll have a better shot at making partner and it will be easier to bring in clients because of the lower billing rates. also, as mentioned above, a lot of bigger clients are moving to smaller shops. the downside is that these firms are pretty much pros only.

i think the best option would be to try and get into one of the gp's or large boutiques that allow you to do a good mix of ip work and do that for a few years until you decide what you want to do long term. from there you'll have a well-known firm's name on your resume and the experience to jump in house or to go to a smaller boutique to start bringing in clients.

oh yeah which brings up another point, if you want to do the firm thing long term, you won't learn much about business development or bringing in clients from a large gp. boutiques on the other hand tend to be pretty aggressive with bis dev and you should be able to get involved with client pitches and learn a lot.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:58 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:

if you want to go in house, then a gp or large boutique will probably be the better option. most in house postings i see want "x years of experience at a large law firm" or something to that tune. which is funny because a lot of big companies are going to these small (5-50 person) boutiques for their pros because of budget constraints yet they would never hire in house attorneys from these firms.


That's a bit harsh! I don't think that boutique attorneys would never be hired at those places. I would still recommend a GP firm for the possibility of more varied work though. Regarding x years at a large firm, that can be ignored for patent positions.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:

if you want to go in house, then a gp or large boutique will probably be the better option. most in house postings i see want "x years of experience at a large law firm" or something to that tune. which is funny because a lot of big companies are going to these small (5-50 person) boutiques for their pros because of budget constraints yet they would never hire in house attorneys from these firms.


That's a bit harsh! I don't think that boutique attorneys would never be hired at those places. I would still recommend a GP firm for the possibility of more varied work though. Regarding x years at a large firm, that can be ignored for patent positions.


i'm not saying boutiques in general, i'm saying ones at the small boutiques don't get hired into big companies. this is from my personal experience as well as from in house counsels i know at other large companies. there are probably some exceptions but i haven't seen any yet.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:55 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:

if you want to go in house, then a gp or large boutique will probably be the better option. most in house postings i see want "x years of experience at a large law firm" or something to that tune. which is funny because a lot of big companies are going to these small (5-50 person) boutiques for their pros because of budget constraints yet they would never hire in house attorneys from these firms.


That's a bit harsh! I don't think that boutique attorneys would never be hired at those places. I would still recommend a GP firm for the possibility of more varied work though. Regarding x years at a large firm, that can be ignored for patent positions.


i'm not saying boutiques in general, i'm saying ones at the small boutiques don't get hired into big companies. this is from my personal experience as well as from in house counsels i know at other large companies. there are probably some exceptions but i haven't seen any yet.


That's the opposite of what I've seen and in my circles. It's easier to go inhouse to a larger company because you will be siloed to portfolio management and anyone can do that. Smaller companies seem more difficult for those from boutiques.

LinkedIn is a good source to see where people from firms go. I'm in the Bay Area, so maybe things are different here than elsewhere though. I've noticed that boutiques like Schwegmann, Hickman, etc. placing really well into in-house roles.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Abbie Doobie wrote:

if you want to go in house, then a gp or large boutique will probably be the better option. most in house postings i see want "x years of experience at a large law firm" or something to that tune. which is funny because a lot of big companies are going to these small (5-50 person) boutiques for their pros because of budget constraints yet they would never hire in house attorneys from these firms.


That's a bit harsh! I don't think that boutique attorneys would never be hired at those places. I would still recommend a GP firm for the possibility of more varied work though. Regarding x years at a large firm, that can be ignored for patent positions.


i'm not saying boutiques in general, i'm saying ones at the small boutiques don't get hired into big companies. this is from my personal experience as well as from in house counsels i know at other large companies. there are probably some exceptions but i haven't seen any yet.


That's the opposite of what I've seen and in my circles. It's easier to go inhouse to a larger company because you will be siloed to portfolio management and anyone can do that. Smaller companies seem more difficult for those from boutiques.

LinkedIn is a good source to see where people from firms go. I'm in the Bay Area, so maybe things are different here than elsewhere though. I've noticed that boutiques like Schwegmann, Hickman, etc. placing really well into in-house roles.


schwegmann is not a small boutique. again, i'm talking about small boutiques.

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Re: Patent Pros Experience: How much is enough?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:11 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote: schwegmann is not a small boutique. again, i'm talking about small boutiques.


I know of people at firms smaller than 20 attorneys who have received job offers or interviewed at Google, Intel, SAP, Oracle, Qualcomm, eBay, Rambus, and HP. Some people were at firms less than 5 attorneys. I can probably come up with a lot more if I think about my network more. I just have to disagree with you here!



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