Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

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Vin4226
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Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby Vin4226 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:31 am

Law School Question

Hi everyone,

My question concerns the current career prospects for an intellectual property attorney with a computer science bachelor’s degree. I am asking about this because I just graduated college with a computer science degree but I am also interested in law. After researching about IP law it looks as though this would be a good career consideration for me because I have a very strong technical background but also have strong reading, writing and analytical skills. I find IP law itself interesting and the fact that I would still be very involved with technology is very appealing to me.

Unfortunately, after reading these forums and searching the Internet I found many negative views about going into IP law or any kind of law for that matter right now. It almost made me feel like completely forgetting about this idea but I had to at least post this question.

So really my question is...Does an IP law career path exist that would allow me to be strictly involved with computer science subject matter (coding, software, Internet issues etc…). If so how easy or hard would it be for me to find such a career in the next few years in the New York City Metro area.

Thanks in advance.

-Vincent

Anonymous User
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:33 am

if you go to a top 30 school, or top 50 school, you can find an IP job even with below-average grades.
this is more true if you are female.

every woman with technical background I know from my T25 has been able to find an IP job. they all have middling or below-average grades.

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dood
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby dood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:19 am

TO ANSWER UR QUESTIONS:

"strictly involved with computer science subject matter" exists, but: (1) it will be difficult for u to get a job if u tell the interviewer "all i will do is STRICTLY XYZ"; (2) pure code patents are rarely granted/litigated over and stuff that is are mixed electrical/mech inventions; and (3) why r u limiting urself regardless? i mean, at this point u dont even know what practicing law is.

assuming u dont limit ur self to one tech area, ur job opps in NYC are good->great, as long as u go to a top 14 school and get above median grades. obviously better school, better chances. some top 30 schools are also fair->good for patent, i.e. gw (#20). outside the mentioned group of schools, almost zilch unless like top 5% law grades.

Black-Blue
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby Black-Blue » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:53 am

Does an IP law career path exist that would allow me to be strictly involved with computer science subject matter (coding, software, Internet issues etc…)

Communications law (not IP, I know)
Internet privacy law
Copyright law

...but not patent law because "strictly" computer science subject matter is unpatentable. To be patentable, the software has to at least be doing something, like manipulating graphics on a screen.

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englawyer
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby englawyer » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:12 pm

you can go either patent prosecution or patent litigation within IP law.

If you elect for patent litigation, my understanding is that you do not specialize in a technical matter. You can go to a firm that usually gets company X/Y/Z's litigation work, and thus focus on a subject area that way, but you are really just a general litigator focusing on IP as opposed to a specialist in a sub-field of IP litigation.

If you go patent prosecution, firms want you to specialize. There are bio-tech prosecutors, EE prosecutors, CS prosecutors, etc. go patent prosecution and focus on software-related patents if you want to focus solely on CS issues, .

However, it is really better to sort out which branch is for you during or after law school. Litigation and prosecution are very different kinds of work and you may find you were meant to go into Lit.

I should also mention that I think prosecution moreso than litigation departments tend to recruit at lower ranked schools, worse grades, etc. Prosecution also makes firms less money which means that for many GP firms, they are cutting their prosecution departments and focusing entirely on lit. This does not apply to patent boutiques of course.

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piccolittle
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby piccolittle » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:14 pm

Just popping in to say I'm very jealous of you! I didn't know that was the field I wanted to go into until I graduated college with a non-CS, non-patent eligible degree :/ Good luck!

Vin4226
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby Vin4226 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:05 am

Thanks very much guys for your thoughtful responses!

Please note, when I said, “strictly” involved with computer science subject matter, I didn’t mean it to be a limiting factor. I just want it to be my niche (if thats possible) because thats what I have always been interested in.

@englawyer - I’m glad you brought patent litigation versus patent prosecution to my attention. I am going to have to research this further to see what I like better. This leads me to my next big question...

Considering I want to concentrate on computer science issues, am I going to be primarily practicing copyright or patent law. This is confusing me because from what I understand computer software is not patentable so what kind of computer science patents would I be dealing with. If I will be dealing with mostly copyright law will it be necessary and or beneficial for me to pass the patent bar exam.

Thanks again, I appreciate everyones help!

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eandy
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby eandy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:09 am

If you are going into law school expecting to work on a really particular kind of case, you are choosing the wrong field. Law is a take what you can get kind of field for the vast majority of people.

Vin4226
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby Vin4226 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:27 am

eandy wrote:If you are going into law school expecting to work on a really particular kind of case, you are choosing the wrong field. Law is a take what you can get kind of field for the vast majority of people.


That might be true for the vast majority of people but the vast majority of people don't go to law school with a computer science degree. My technical background would best be applied in intellectual property law and I'm trying to figure out whether computer science lends it self to copyright law or patent law.

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eandy
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby eandy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:33 am

Vin4226 wrote:
eandy wrote:If you are going into law school expecting to work on a really particular kind of case, you are choosing the wrong field. Law is a take what you can get kind of field for the vast majority of people.


That might be true for the vast majority of people but the vast majority of people don't go to law school with a computer science degree. My technical background would best be applied in intellectual property law and I'm trying to figure out whether computer science lends it self to copyright law or patent law.

0L. This is obvious.
Yes, you can do copyright or patent law with your background. Yes, you will be put to better use doing computer related things. But you will likely not be hired specifically to do just computer related work. You will work on other things, too. Trying to find a job where you're put to your best use is admirable, but if you are too strict about it you won't find one unless your grades are really good.

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englawyer
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby englawyer » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:47 pm

Vin4226 wrote:Thanks very much guys for your thoughtful responses!

Please note, when I said, “strictly” involved with computer science subject matter, I didn’t mean it to be a limiting factor. I just want it to be my niche (if thats possible) because thats what I have always been interested in.

@englawyer - I’m glad you brought patent litigation versus patent prosecution to my attention. I am going to have to research this further to see what I like better. This leads me to my next big question...

Considering I want to concentrate on computer science issues, am I going to be primarily practicing copyright or patent law. This is confusing me because from what I understand computer software is not patentable so what kind of computer science patents would I be dealing with. If I will be dealing with mostly copyright law will it be necessary and or beneficial for me to pass the patent bar exam.

Thanks again, I appreciate everyones help!


Both copyright and patents apply to the CS field.

copyright: very small market. Computer CODE is usually protected by copyright, which lets you sue if you can prove the other party blatantly copied your code and started using it. I imagine the market is small both because this sort of thing happens infrequently and it is probably very hard to prove. You are allowed to be inspired by someone else's work as long as you don't directly copy it (something like that). take a Copyright class for more details. And anyway, this field doesn't really deal with CS per se (none of the arguments would be relating to computer science, but rather that someone copied it).

patents: patents protect the implementation of ideas, IE "applying X,Y,Z algorithm to some input data and presenting the result to the user". the use of patents in programming is controversial but it is a live area of IP law for now at least. if you go litigation, there is no need to pass the patent bar; that would be at most for marketing purposes.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science Intellectual Property Attorn Career exists?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:40 am

Remember to be eligible for the patent bar, your CS department has to be ABET accredited. There are actually quite a few schools which are non-ABET accredited, so be aware. Otherwise you would have to meet the requirements by having enough science credits. It's interesting that this requirement only applies to CS, not CE.

You CS degree would also be much more helpful if you have some work experience in the field. I think this isn't as important for CE/EE degree, but for CS (which I have), most times people want to talk about my work experience. Personally I think CS is too abstract like math, so without actual work experience it is not quite practical.




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