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.