IP Law Technical Background Training

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tlsforumid
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:36 pm

IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby tlsforumid » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:52 am

Hi everyone. I didn't become really aware of IP law until recently (I'm a college senior), and I'm really interested in it. But, I don't have a technical background. I was a biology major for a year so I have a couple of upper-level chem and bio courses but that's all. Is there any way I can gain training or education necessary to become a good patent lawyer without going to college for two more years to complete my biology degree? Thanks for your help.

smc44
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:45 pm

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby smc44 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:29 pm

Are you talking about patent prosecution or patent litigation?

For prosecution you need a technical background in order to take the patent registration exam. You could qualify to take the exam by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, but I would suspect that you would still need the technical background to make yourself attractive to employers. Furthermore, for life sciences like Biology, I have heard that you need a Phd to make yourself attractive to employers, but that's just hearsay on my part, so ask for other opinions.

For litigation you don't need a technical background, but it can be helpful.

tlsforumid
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:36 pm

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby tlsforumid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:13 pm

IP Prosecution. What if I stayed in school another semester, took some prerequisites, took a year in between college and law school to get a masters in mechanical engineering, and then went to law school? Would that be sufficient? Also, in regard to the field of IP Prosecution, is it still a booming field in mechanical engineering? I know it was at one point. An appealing aspect of it is not having any shortage of workflow if that's the case. Thanks!

tlsforumid
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:36 pm

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby tlsforumid » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:18 pm

Also, would it limit me from practicing other areas of law if I took classes in law school concentrating on IP? Like could I do IP Prosecution and Litigation? Both of these are appealing for different reasons so I would love to be able to practice both. And would concentrating on IP in law school hurt my chances of getting a federal or high state court clerkship one day? I know they like litigators. Thanks.

smc44
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:45 pm

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby smc44 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:06 pm

tlsforumid wrote:IP Prosecution. What if I stayed in school another semester, took some prerequisites, took a year in between college and law school to get a masters in mechanical engineering, and then went to law school? Would that be sufficient? Also, in regard to the field of IP Prosecution, is it still a booming field in mechanical engineering? I know it was at one point. An appealing aspect of it is not having any shortage of workflow if that's the case. Thanks!


I'm in a different field than you, so I can't comment on mechanical engineering. In general, there is no shortage of workflow. The difficulty is getting your foot in the door somewhere. I know there are some law programs that also offer master's degrees. I think Duke offers a few programs. Maybe those would be attractive for you. Good luck.

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fltanglab
Posts: 555
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:44 pm

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby fltanglab » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:08 pm

tlsforumid wrote:Also, would it limit me from practicing other areas of law if I took classes in law school concentrating on IP? Like could I do IP Prosecution and Litigation? Both of these are appealing for different reasons so I would love to be able to practice both. And would concentrating on IP in law school hurt my chances of getting a federal or high state court clerkship one day? I know they like litigators. Thanks.


You probably won't end up only taking courses in IP, so I wouldn't worry about that. Pros/lit often go hand-in-hand. No, IP definitely doesn't hurt you for clerkships. Some clerkships are only for people with technical degrees. It wouldn't be a useful investment of your time if you're doing solely prosecution, however. If you really want to get a valuable degree, do EE because that's the most sought-after degree these days. Although if you only have life science courses, you have a long road ahead for EE.

Aureusmons
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:29 am

Re: IP Law Technical Background Training

Postby Aureusmons » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:45 pm

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