Can I get out of patent if I start there?

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Can I get out of patent if I start there?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:36 pm

I am interviewing with a number of firms where I would go directly into their patent lit practices or would inevitably be working on mostly IP. If I start at an IP firm and end up hating it, would I have exit opps in other practices, or would it be more difficult to switch to a different practice after being hired directly into an IP group and only doing that work?

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los blancos

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Re: Can I get out of patent if I start there?

Postby los blancos » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:31 pm

You should probably specify more clearly here whether you're asking about IP boutiques or IP practices in full-service firms.


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Re: Can I get out of patent if I start there?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:51 pm

There are always exceptions, but in general, the more senior you get, the harder it is to switch practices. As a junior associate, it's fairly doable to migrate from IP lit to general lit*. Once you're, say, a 5th-year though, probably tough.

*This is assuming you're at a GP firm that does both IP lit and general lit. If you're at an IP boutique, obviously, you'd have to lateral to migrate to general lit, and then you might be in a Catch-22 situation where it's tough to lateral as a first- or second-year associate, but once you get more senior, it's tough to switch practice areas.

**It's easier to go from IP lit to general lit than vice versa. You'll find partners who've gone from general lit to IP lit, but times are different now.

All in all, if you have any doubt about whether you're committed to IP, probably best to go to a GP firm instead of a boutique.

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