Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

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ampm
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Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:18 pm

3.37/172, engineering + econ from berkeley.
currently work in consulting for 1+ years.

I've heard (mainly from my parents who I know are not the best source but they do work in the Silicon Valley startup environment) that the trend in law right now is outsourcing a lot of legal work offshore. Doing some research I see that people are saying that patent litigation is one of the last bastions for stable work as a patent lawyer.

I'd like to have some misconceptions cleared by the more experience law students here.

1. How is the patent law market and what can I expect if I were to attend a T14 school?

2. For those who are already working in patent law, what are the trends that you are seeing in this area i.e. employment wise, type of work, etc?

Truly appreciate everyone's help. I will continue to do research but I'd like to see what current law students are saying.

ampm
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:01 pm

Nobody?

I guess let me rephrase.

1. Are current law students, regardless of school, who are entering IP law seeing a particular trend in hiring for IP firms?

Thanks everyone.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby Kafkaesquire » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:37 pm

ampm wrote:3.37/172, engineering + econ from berkeley.
currently work in consulting for 1+ years.

I've heard (mainly from my parents who I know are not the best source but they do work in the Silicon Valley startup environment) that the trend in law right now is outsourcing a lot of legal work offshore. Doing some research I see that people are saying that patent litigation is one of the last bastions for stable work as a patent lawyer.

I'd like to have some misconceptions cleared by the more experience law students here.

1. How is the patent law market and what can I expect if I were to attend a T14 school?

2. For those who are already working in patent law, what are the trends that you are seeing in this area i.e. employment wise, type of work, etc?

Truly appreciate everyone's help. I will continue to do research but I'd like to see what current law students are saying.


1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.

2. Sorry, I do not fit your criterion. Go to http://www.intelproplaw.com/ip_forum/index.php for more help, but ask better questions.

Edit: I would recommend to you this book: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace.

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MrSparkle
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby MrSparkle » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:02 pm

Me - Rising 2L at a T14 looking into IP positions myself.

A lot of firms in California, particularly bay area, are looking for IP hires. They often still want undergrad transcripts, but I don't think it matters much. I think the growth of tech will always require patent lawyers, and it definitely seems like it's growing. I think it even makes up for not being in a T14 law school if you're particularly in demand (esp computer science).

I'd also say patent litigation and patent prosecution are both in demand, but probably prosecution requires the engineering degree a lot more. Firms don't absolutely require that you have a technical degree to do any kind of litigation, b/c it's not completely necessary. But for prosecution (i.e. filing patents) you need a technical background to take the patent bar, and of course you just need to have the requisite knowledge to write the patent application.

anonmyuos
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby anonmyuos » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:25 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.


This. It sounds like you haven't even taken the LSAT. Taking the pulse of any market four years out is incredibly tough even for a person with perfect knowledge of everything. And few people (no one?) have that. So I get what you're trying to ask, but you're asking something that's not really achievable. If you want to be a lawyer, specifically a patent lawyer, that's one story and something people might be able to help you achieve. If you want to get a job in a hot market, that's a more difficult proposition.

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buttes
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby buttes » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:30 pm

Patent prosecution isn't going anywhere absent a complete legal overhaul, which is unlikely. That said, I think there are too many college graduates to begin with, and though it's probably easier for the average science/engineering major to get a job than the average humanities major after undergrad or grad school, job markets are getting more crowded after undergrad and more engineers/scientists/PhD's etc. are starting to look into law, so competition may get tougher.

Patent litigation, however is up in the wind. Some of the recently publicized layoffs (I think maybe WilmerHale?) have involved patent litigation groups, but there really hasn't been enough to indicate any firm trend. There has been some presidential hooplah and there are a few bills in congress that are designed to combat patent trolls, which made up like 60% of patent cases last year. (http://www.webcitation.org/6HvOM7JO1) If any of those laws hit, a lot of patent litigation will dry up, but mostly for small plaintiff-representing firms working with patent trolls (and I guess whoever is working defense - but considering the very high rate of settlement, I imagine a lot of it just stays in house). The big litigation Apple v. Samsung stuff will still be around, and that's more what you're looking at if you were in the big law route or at a respectable boutique.

Only a rising 2L, so I can't claim much inside knowledge, but my job this summer is literally "analyze IP law trends", so hopefully I'm not pulling too much out of my ass.

Edit: Obviously risking looking stupid as hell with my predictions, but I'd love for someone to either back me up or tell me I'm dumb just to get whatever info they have that I don't.

mrsmartypants
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby mrsmartypants » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:26 am

buttes wrote:Patent prosecution isn't going anywhere absent a complete legal overhaul, which is unlikely.


This is an overly confident statement, IMO.

First, depending on the outcome of CLS Bank v. Alice and its related cases, if the Federal Circuit or SCOTUS decides that inventions largely defined in terms of software aren't patentable, this would have a hugely disruptive effect for many applicants in the computer-related arts.

Second, prosecution and litigation are at two ends of the same overall system. Efforts to make patent litigation more difficult (e.g., by increasing pleading standards, implementing fee shifting, etc.) will, if adopted, eventually make patents less desirable as assets, decreasing overall demand for them. This might take years to play out, and it may play out unevenly across different technologies, but a patent ultimately isn't worth anything unless it can be asserted.

Third, the disruptive effects of the AIA on the system (i.e., the most recent "complete legal overhaul") have yet to be fully appreciated--particularly the new post-issue proceedings.

This is an interesting time for patent law. The field may very well look much different ten years from now, though it's very difficult to tell. More forces are at work to change the system now than during the last fifteen years, that much is certain.

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buttes
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby buttes » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:05 pm

mrsmartypants wrote:
buttes wrote:Patent prosecution isn't going anywhere absent a complete legal overhaul, which is unlikely.

This is an overly confident statement, IMO.

I agree actually, especially when it comes to potential software issues. I also agree that there will likely be some significant changes from the AIA that will take quite some time to play out. However, I believe that things like third party submissions during prosecution will make it more difficult to get a patent, but that the patents that are issued will end up being higher quality and thus more likely to be enforceable. Changes in post grant procedures should make it easier to invalidate without the full cost of litigation, and supplemental examination encourages patent holders to test their own patents for invalidity at a lower cost than failed litigation.

In other words, patent portfolios may become smaller (or at least leaner), but ultimately more valuable with their higher rates of enforceability. However, these procedures mean patents will probably be more expensive to prosecute, so overall volumes could fall either way. I admit that I was definitely overly simplistic, especially by ignoring potential software issues, but the company I'm working for is largely invested in more physical technologies and I'm not a CS person, so it sort of slipped my mind.

As far as making litigation more difficult, I think it's a little more targeted than that. One of the bills before (I think) the Senate only has fee shifting for plaintiffs who are not the original inventor or assignee and who have not invested in the patent or worked with other companies to do so. This will admittedly cut down largely on litigation and will greatly reduce the value of portfolios held by non-practicing entities. The ramifications of this could be quite broad on the overall value of patents and the state of the industry, but I think would ultimately help the system work more like it was intended (lol, intent) by making rent seeking more difficult.

All that said, I agree that there have been changes whose consequences are yet to play out and more possible changes on the horizon that make it difficult to predict where the industry is going. I guess I'm just optimistic that it's headed to a leaner, more efficient system.

mrsmartypants
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby mrsmartypants » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:14 pm

A "leaner, more efficient system" is largely antithetical to the system that has employed legions of attorneys over the past couple decades, since patent started heating up. Most of the factors you've mentioned may make the system work "better" (if by "better" you mean issue fewer, higher quality patents). But in the process, they will very probably reduce the size of the market. What's good for the system isn't necessarily good for attorneys, and the OP was asking after employment prospects.

I've been doing this for over a decade. I can tell you with high confidence that some of the larger clients I deal with would be more than happy to see patents go away in their respective spaces; with incumbency, you don't need a quasi-monopoly exclusionary right except for deterrence purposes. Except for a few headline cases between behemoths, it's the little guy who benefits disproportionately from the exclusionary right.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:45 pm

mrsmartypants wrote:
buttes wrote:Patent prosecution isn't going anywhere absent a complete legal overhaul, which is unlikely.


This is an overly confident statement, IMO.

First, depending on the outcome of CLS Bank v. Alice and its related cases, if the Federal Circuit or SCOTUS decides that inventions largely defined in terms of software aren't patentable, this would have a hugely disruptive effect for many applicants in the computer-related arts.

Second, prosecution and litigation are at two ends of the same overall system. Efforts to make patent litigation more difficult (e.g., by increasing pleading standards, implementing fee shifting, etc.) will, if adopted, eventually make patents less desirable as assets, decreasing overall demand for them. This might take years to play out, and it may play out unevenly across different technologies, but a patent ultimately isn't worth anything unless it can be asserted.

Third, the disruptive effects of the AIA on the system (i.e., the most recent "complete legal overhaul") have yet to be fully appreciated--particularly the new post-issue proceedings.

This is an interesting time for patent law. The field may very well look much different ten years from now, though it's very difficult to tell. More forces are at work to change the system now than during the last fifteen years, that much is certain.


I absolutely believe there is going to be change in the coming years and decades, but I think it's shortsighted to say that patents will be less important to companies, many of which base most of their value on intangible assets. Trade secrets provide only a narrow spectrum of companies the protection necessary to exploit their valuable technologies.

There are too many doctrines that can shear-up some of the problems with patents being asserted today to force courts to make substantial changes to patentable subject matter. I think we're also seeing, and will see more of, a focus on the prosecution and issuance of patents, where the PTO will be a more substantial proving ground, as opposed to litigation in the courts.

I think the answer to the future is that it will continue to be an emphasized practice area, although it is not likely going to remain such a boon to the bottom line of some firms and NPE's. However, I just can't see patent protection, given the universal fact of intangible assets in commerce, playing a very small role. And as nice as it sounds to have a well-oiled machine of a patent system, the problem is that technology necessarily requires the use of fuzzy boundaries for protection, and there is always going to be overlap and dispute in that area which gives rise to litigation. Given the fact that there are some large companies with sizable income streams derived from the right to exploit intangible property to the exclusion of others, there is going to be contention and assets expended.

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buttes
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby buttes » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:32 pm

mrsmartypants wrote:What's good for the system isn't necessarily good for attorneys, and the OP was asking after employment prospects.

Fair enough. I guess working in-house this summer kind of made me see things from the other side, where less litigation is always going to be seen as a positive.

Also, as far as leaner and more efficient, that was largely aimed at litigation, I guess. I think these laws (passed and in committee) will definitely end up skewing the industry, possibly requiring more prosecutors as those requirements become more difficult. Conversely, litigators might be less in demand if suits from NPE's dry up.

Ultimately, I think patents will end up a little harder to get, but more enforceable. How this will effect employment overall, I guess I admit I have no idea.

ampm
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:56 pm

So what I've pulled from this:

Patent Litigation will most likely be seeing a cutback as patents become fewer in number and higher in quality through legal enforcements, etc. which are trying to reduce time wasted litigating and streamline the process such that most of the clarification that might come through litigation comes from in-house.

Still difficult to see the effect on patent prosecution although I would think that any long term effect on prosecution will take years to be seen.

Also, seems like most of the work would be moving in-house? Or is this last point me misinterpreting things?

Either way, it seems like I may have to look into a masters in computer science degree before entering law school if I'm interested in patent prosecution.

ampm
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:57 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:
1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.

2. Sorry, I do not fit your criterion. Go to http://www.intelproplaw.com/ip_forum/index.php for more help, but ask better questions.

Edit: I would recommend to you this book: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace.


Obviously I'm not asking you to predict the next century. I'm asking for an informed opinion such that I have some facts in front of me.

And I don't understand what your point is by recommending a book in 'style' when it seems like the rest of the commentators on this thread don't have issue with how I phrased my questions.

ampm
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:00 pm

anonmyuos wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.


This. It sounds like you haven't even taken the LSAT. Taking the pulse of any market four years out is incredibly tough even for a person with perfect knowledge of everything. And few people (no one?) have that. So I get what you're trying to ask, but you're asking something that's not really achievable. If you want to be a lawyer, specifically a patent lawyer, that's one story and something people might be able to help you achieve. If you want to get a job in a hot market, that's a more difficult proposition.


I'm just asking for people's opinions on patent work so that I can have an idea of what I may be getting myself into and whether or not I should focus on looking into a masters before I enter law school.

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buttes
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby buttes » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:48 pm

ampm wrote:So what I've pulled from this:

Patent Litigation will most likely be seeing a cutback as patents become fewer in number and higher in quality through legal enforcements, etc. which are trying to reduce time wasted litigating and streamline the process such that most of the clarification that might come through litigation comes from in-house.

Still difficult to see the effect on patent prosecution although I would think that any long term effect on prosecution will take years to be seen.

Also, seems like most of the work would be moving in-house? Or is this last point me misinterpreting things?

Either way, it seems like I may have to look into a masters in computer science degree before entering law school if I'm interested in patent prosecution.

For the laws currently in place, any cutbacks in litigation will be further down the road as new pre and post grant procedures start cutting down on the number of patents that can make it to litigation. If some of the current laws before Congress get passed (simpler ones requiring disclosure of all parties with a interest in the litigation or tougher ones requiring a potentially huge bonds to be put up by certain classes of plaintiffs) the drop may be dramatic but without the laws won't happen. Everything is still all speculative, and I guess it's even possible that the impact won't be very large since a higher percentage of patents will be worthy of litigation.

Prosecution? Who knows. To me it seems probable that difficulty will increase in obtaining a patent. This will make the process more expensive and may drive down volume. But it also may make issued patents more valuable, canceling that out. The move to first-inventor-to-file may streamline the process decreasing demand for lawyers, or maybe the concern that other inventors might file first may increase the demand. Crap shoot at this point.

Moving in house wasn't really what I meant. There's no reason for prosecution to move in house based on any recent changes, and I don't think there will be any shift in litigation towards in house. What I meant was that unless there's a good chance of invalidating the patent or demonstrating you don't infringe AND the cost of settlement would be huge (typically minimum of millions), it's usually much cheaper to settle than to litigate. Companies may bring someone in to negotiate here, or some may choose to do so themselves. This is the in house work I was talking about. Actual litigation will still typically be sent out to firms, but keeping the above assumptions that fewer patents will be litigated (either through weeding out invalid ones or by cutting down on suits by NPEs), valid litigation that would have settled in the past will continue to do so, while frivolous litigation or litigation with the hope of invalidation may ease up.

Again, this is all mostly conjecture. The last relevant AIA provisions just went into effect a few months ago, so it's too soon to say anything with confidence.

anonmyuos
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby anonmyuos » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:21 pm

ampm wrote:
anonmyuos wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.


This. It sounds like you haven't even taken the LSAT. Taking the pulse of any market four years out is incredibly tough even for a person with perfect knowledge of everything. And few people (no one?) have that. So I get what you're trying to ask, but you're asking something that's not really achievable. If you want to be a lawyer, specifically a patent lawyer, that's one story and something people might be able to help you achieve. If you want to get a job in a hot market, that's a more difficult proposition.


I'm just asking for people's opinions on patent work so that I can have an idea of what I may be getting myself into and whether or not I should focus on looking into a masters before I enter law school.


I think you're missing the point. The point is -- why do you want a career in patent law? And more specifically, would you be interested in patent prosecution or patent litigation? Answer those questions first, and that will give you the value you need to achieve. Then you can compare it to the value it might have.

The way you're going about it makes it seem like you don't know what to do with yourself, and heard patent law is a hot market. Maybe that's not true, but it's really difficult for people to give you informed opinions about whether you should go to law school, get a masters, or do something else (which is what I think you're really asking) without knowing the full story. And, if I'm wrong about what you're really asking, then my comment stands -- even an informed opinion about a changing market 4-5 years out is perhaps 1% more accurate than asking a random person on the street.

Also, for what it's worth, I doubt a Masters in Comp Sci will make any difference to you for patent prosecution. I guess I don't know what your undergrad major is exactly, but post-grad work is only needed for certain fields - and Comp Sci isn't one of them. I really don't know why you got the impression you need a Masters.

ampm
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:11 am

buttes wrote:
ampm wrote:So what I've pulled from this:

Patent Litigation will most likely be seeing a cutback as patents become fewer in number and higher in quality through legal enforcements, etc. which are trying to reduce time wasted litigating and streamline the process such that most of the clarification that might come through litigation comes from in-house.

Still difficult to see the effect on patent prosecution although I would think that any long term effect on prosecution will take years to be seen.

Also, seems like most of the work would be moving in-house? Or is this last point me misinterpreting things?

Either way, it seems like I may have to look into a masters in computer science degree before entering law school if I'm interested in patent prosecution.

For the laws currently in place, any cutbacks in litigation will be further down the road as new pre and post grant procedures start cutting down on the number of patents that can make it to litigation. If some of the current laws before Congress get passed (simpler ones requiring disclosure of all parties with a interest in the litigation or tougher ones requiring a potentially huge bonds to be put up by certain classes of plaintiffs) the drop may be dramatic but without the laws won't happen. Everything is still all speculative, and I guess it's even possible that the impact won't be very large since a higher percentage of patents will be worthy of litigation.

Prosecution? Who knows. To me it seems probable that difficulty will increase in obtaining a patent. This will make the process more expensive and may drive down volume. But it also may make issued patents more valuable, canceling that out. The move to first-inventor-to-file may streamline the process decreasing demand for lawyers, or maybe the concern that other inventors might file first may increase the demand. Crap shoot at this point.

Moving in house wasn't really what I meant. There's no reason for prosecution to move in house based on any recent changes, and I don't think there will be any shift in litigation towards in house. What I meant was that unless there's a good chance of invalidating the patent or demonstrating you don't infringe AND the cost of settlement would be huge (typically minimum of millions), it's usually much cheaper to settle than to litigate. Companies may bring someone in to negotiate here, or some may choose to do so themselves. This is the in house work I was talking about. Actual litigation will still typically be sent out to firms, but keeping the above assumptions that fewer patents will be litigated (either through weeding out invalid ones or by cutting down on suits by NPEs), valid litigation that would have settled in the past will continue to do so, while frivolous litigation or litigation with the hope of invalidation may ease up.

Again, this is all mostly conjecture. The last relevant AIA provisions just went into effect a few months ago, so it's too soon to say anything with confidence.


Ah, very interesting feedback. Thanks a lot for that input. Greatly clarified my understanding.

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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:12 am

anonmyuos wrote:
ampm wrote:
anonmyuos wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.


This. It sounds like you haven't even taken the LSAT. Taking the pulse of any market four years out is incredibly tough even for a person with perfect knowledge of everything. And few people (no one?) have that. So I get what you're trying to ask, but you're asking something that's not really achievable. If you want to be a lawyer, specifically a patent lawyer, that's one story and something people might be able to help you achieve. If you want to get a job in a hot market, that's a more difficult proposition.


I'm just asking for people's opinions on patent work so that I can have an idea of what I may be getting myself into and whether or not I should focus on looking into a masters before I enter law school.


I think you're missing the point. The point is -- why do you want a career in patent law? And more specifically, would you be interested in patent prosecution or patent litigation? Answer those questions first, and that will give you the value you need to achieve. Then you can compare it to the value it might have.

The way you're going about it makes it seem like you don't know what to do with yourself, and heard patent law is a hot market. Maybe that's not true, but it's really difficult for people to give you informed opinions about whether you should go to law school, get a masters, or do something else (which is what I think you're really asking) without knowing the full story. And, if I'm wrong about what you're really asking, then my comment stands -- even an informed opinion about a changing market 4-5 years out is perhaps 1% more accurate than asking a random person on the street.

Also, for what it's worth, I doubt a Masters in Comp Sci will make any difference to you for patent prosecution. I guess I don't know what your undergrad major is exactly, but post-grad work is only needed for certain fields - and Comp Sci isn't one of them. I really don't know why you got the impression you need a Masters.


Well I have a bioengineering background which puts me in line for patent lit. but not patent prosecution from what I've heard. Therefore, I was considering a CS masters for the sake of going into patent prosecution.

It is true that I am still a bit undecided about how committed I am to patent law but if I did law, I know that it would be in that area so I can utilize my technical degree.

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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby mrsmartypants » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:26 am

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Re qualifications for prosecution, keep in mind that there are two different sets of criteria in play: those that the PTO applies in order to qualify a candidate to practice, and those that the market applies with respect to hiring in a particular technical field.

A biomedical engineering bachelor's degree is sufficient to qualify a candidate to sit for the patent bar, as is a B.S. in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. As a practical matter, candidates seeking prosecution work in the life sciences or pharma typically will be expected to have at least a master's, if not a Ph.D., to be considered.

Regarding the electrical/computer arts, as a partner who hires prosecution candidates in this area, I can tell you that from where I sit, a CS master's alone--without the corresponding undergraduate exposure or comparable technical experience--isn't likely to get you an interview, much less a job, unless you show signs of brilliance or have exemplary law school credentials. A possible exception would be a bioengineering candidate who had a strong background in medical devices, and particularly electronics.

As a side note, virtually all of the conjecture in this thread is coming from students or graduates with little or no actual experience in patent law, and so should be taken judiciously. To be fair, OP did repeatedly ask for input from law students, but before making any career-determining decisions, I would strongly recommend talking to some actual attorneys. Granted, any opinion about the future of the practice is speculative, but there's pure speculation and then there's speculation informed by experience.

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Kafkaesquire
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby Kafkaesquire » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:02 pm

ampm wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:
1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.

2. Sorry, I do not fit your criterion. Go to http://www.intelproplaw.com/ip_forum/index.php for more help, but ask better questions.

Edit: I would recommend to you this book: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace.


Obviously I'm not asking you to predict the next century. I'm asking for an informed opinion such that I have some facts in front of me.

And I don't understand what your point is by recommending a book in 'style' when it seems like the rest of the commentators on this thread don't have issue with how I phrased my questions.


An alcoholic wouldn't tell you that you had a drinking problem, bro.

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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:27 am

Kafkaesquire wrote:
ampm wrote:
Kafkaesquire wrote:
1. No one is going to risk looking so stupid as to tell you what the patent market will look like in four years.

2. Sorry, I do not fit your criterion. Go to http://www.intelproplaw.com/ip_forum/index.php for more help, but ask better questions.

Edit: I would recommend to you this book: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace.


Obviously I'm not asking you to predict the next century. I'm asking for an informed opinion such that I have some facts in front of me.

And I don't understand what your point is by recommending a book in 'style' when it seems like the rest of the commentators on this thread don't have issue with how I phrased my questions.


An alcoholic wouldn't tell you that you had a drinking problem, bro.


seems like you're outnumbered by alcoholics then 'bro'. guess its time for you to hop off the thread.

edit: though I will admit I could have phrased my questions better. regardless, you seem to take particular offense to that for some reason.

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MormonChristian
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Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby MormonChristian » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:09 am

ampm wrote:3.37/172, engineering + econ from berkeley.
currently work in consulting for 1+ years.

I've heard (mainly from my parents who I know are not the best source but they do work in the Silicon Valley startup environment) that the trend in law right now is outsourcing a lot of legal work offshore. Doing some research I see that people are saying that patent litigation is one of the last bastions for stable work as a patent lawyer.

I'd like to have some misconceptions cleared by the more experience law students here.

1. How is the patent law market and what can I expect if I were to attend a T14 school?

2. For those who are already working in patent law, what are the trends that you are seeing in this area i.e. employment wise, type of work, etc?

Truly appreciate everyone's help. I will continue to do research but I'd like to see what current law students are saying.


1. Patent law market is out of control. The changes in the patent laws on March 13 created what my patent professor called, the "patent lawyer get rich laws". I had 16 interviews lined up and canceled them all for the patent fair.

The advice I am getting is not to commit too early.

Salaries will only go up and I don't even know exactly what I want to do.

With that said, laws can change again.
2. I am not working, can't answer this one.

ampm
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:02 pm

Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby ampm » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:58 am

MormonChristian wrote:
ampm wrote:3.37/172, engineering + econ from berkeley.
currently work in consulting for 1+ years.

I've heard (mainly from my parents who I know are not the best source but they do work in the Silicon Valley startup environment) that the trend in law right now is outsourcing a lot of legal work offshore. Doing some research I see that people are saying that patent litigation is one of the last bastions for stable work as a patent lawyer.

I'd like to have some misconceptions cleared by the more experience law students here.

1. How is the patent law market and what can I expect if I were to attend a T14 school?

2. For those who are already working in patent law, what are the trends that you are seeing in this area i.e. employment wise, type of work, etc?

Truly appreciate everyone's help. I will continue to do research but I'd like to see what current law students are saying.


1. Patent law market is out of control. The changes in the patent laws on March 13 created what my patent professor called, the "patent lawyer get rich laws". I had 16 interviews lined up and canceled them all for the patent fair.

The advice I am getting is not to commit too early.

Salaries will only go up and I don't even know exactly what I want to do.

With that said, laws can change again.
2. I am not working, can't answer this one.


Interesting. If you don't mind me asking, could you provide some specifics about your background i.e. ugrad degree? And are you referring to lit. or pros.?

anonmyuos
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:33 am

Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby anonmyuos » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 pm

ampm wrote:
MormonChristian wrote:
1. Patent law market is out of control. The changes in the patent laws on March 13 created what my patent professor called, the "patent lawyer get rich laws". I had 16 interviews lined up and canceled them all for the patent fair.

The advice I am getting is not to commit too early.

Salaries will only go up and I don't even know exactly what I want to do.

With that said, laws can change again.
2. I am not working, can't answer this one.


Interesting. If you don't mind me asking, could you provide some specifics about your background i.e. ugrad degree? And are you referring to lit. or pros.?


You realize you are continuing to get advice from people that barely have more experience than you, right? Consistently the prudent people in this thread have said "it's really hard to predict, no one knows, it's a really tough question" and you have a bunch of law students jumping on saying "everyone says patent law is hot hot hot!" You're latching on to what you want to hear, and ignoring the prudent advice - probably because, like most things, it is boring and not helpful to hear "no one knows." But the fact remains, no one knows.

Ask someone if housing was a good investment in 2006, you'd have had a million people telling you yes and saying everyone was telling them of their massive success at flipping houses. Ask someone about law school in late 1990s and they might say the same thing. But the truth is always more complicated, more unpredictable, and more nuanced than we'd like. So again, I stress to you, no one knows. Half the experts will tell you the patent law market is booming; half the experts will tell you it's going to cool down. And then you have random law students repeating whatever expert they heard last or most often.

You should ask the question you actually want to know the answer to - "Should I go to law school?" And you should provide your background and motivations, and then you might get some guidance on whether to attend. But trying to suss out whether the patent market is hot is unhelpful for everyone involved.

User avatar
Kafkaesquire
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:55 pm

Re: Patent Law market: Growth or plateau?

Postby Kafkaesquire » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:46 am

anonmyuos wrote:
ampm wrote:
MormonChristian wrote:
1. Patent law market is out of control. The changes in the patent laws on March 13 created what my patent professor called, the "patent lawyer get rich laws". I had 16 interviews lined up and canceled them all for the patent fair.

The advice I am getting is not to commit too early.

Salaries will only go up and I don't even know exactly what I want to do.

With that said, laws can change again.
2. I am not working, can't answer this one.


Interesting. If you don't mind me asking, could you provide some specifics about your background i.e. ugrad degree? And are you referring to lit. or pros.?


You realize you are continuing to get advice from people that barely have more experience than you, right? Consistently the prudent people in this thread have said "it's really hard to predict, no one knows, it's a really tough question" and you have a bunch of law students jumping on saying "everyone says patent law is hot hot hot!" You're latching on to what you want to hear, and ignoring the prudent advice - probably because, like most things, it is boring and not helpful to hear "no one knows." But the fact remains, no one knows.

Ask someone if housing was a good investment in 2006, you'd have had a million people telling you yes and saying everyone was telling them of their massive success at flipping houses. Ask someone about law school in late 1990s and they might say the same thing. But the truth is always more complicated, more unpredictable, and more nuanced than we'd like. So again, I stress to you, no one knows. Half the experts will tell you the patent law market is booming; half the experts will tell you it's going to cool down. And then you have random law students repeating whatever expert they heard last or most often.

You should ask the question you actually want to know the answer to - "Should I go to law school?" And you should provide your background and motivations, and then you might get some guidance on whether to attend. But trying to suss out whether the patent market is hot is unhelpful for everyone involved.


Thank you for writing what I simply did not have the patience to write.




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