Patent agent + Corporate law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Patent agent + Corporate law

Postby highcardjack » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi guys,

New here and just want to get advice on a few career ideas.

I have a bachelor degree in Chemistry and want to take the patent bar soon to be a patent agent. I have plans to attend law school while working as a patent agent. I just want to get your opinion on whether I should study patent law or corporate law. I think my chances for employment are better with a patent agent license and corporate law degree VS patent law alone. I'd love to hear your inputs on what would be a better decision. I'd also love to hear any new suggestions that you guys may have.

I thank you in advance.

User avatar
Posts: 3979
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Patent agent + Corporate law

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:38 pm

You dont get a "corporate law degree" or "patent law degree". You just get a "law degree". Hth

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Patent agent + Corporate law

Postby highcardjack » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:41 pm

lymenheimer wrote:You dont get a "corporate law degree" or "patent law degree". You just get a "law degree". Hth

Yes but I am saying which is a better path - doing corporate law with a patent agent background or practice patent law as a career.

User avatar
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:22 pm

Re: Patent agent + Corporate law

Postby trmckenz » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:29 pm

I am a patent agent in big law. A couple of things to point out here:

1) A USPTO registration number is valuable in patent law, and patent law only. Possessing a USPTO registration number simply enables one to deal with the USPTO on behalf of others. There are no other uses for a USPTO registration number other than dealing with the USPTO.

2) Outside of patent law, e.g., in corporate law, a USPTO registration number is essentially meaningless. At best it is a "nice-to-have" credential when dealing with technology-centric clients, particularly in IP litigation, as it can signal that you understand the client's technology. However, it serves no functional purpose outside of patent law.

3) With only a BS in chemistry, you are not employable as a patent agent in the chemical arts. Those who work in the chemical arts in patent law typically have PhDs or an engineering background. So, I would not recommend pursuing patent law in the chemical arts without additional schooling.

4) If you are dead set on working on patents, then you could potentially do patent litigation without additional schooling, but you probably wouldn't ever need a USPTO registration number to do so.

At this point, unless you go back to school to study chemistry, your best option is to pursue a practice area other than patent law - corporate, litigation, tax, etc. Your chances for employment in law will be hugely dependent on which law school you attend and how high your grades are. The specific program of study doesn't matter nearly as much as your overall class rank.

I know it's a harsh reality, but the good news is you are asking useful questions early, and you've found a great resource in this website. Good luck.

Posts: 598
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:47 pm

Re: Patent agent + Corporate law

Postby goldenbear2020 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Passing the patent bar is only relevant for patent prosecution, but you won't get far in that field with only a BS in chemistry. Your background may help slightly for patent litigation, but otherwise your law school and class rank will determine your options just like everyone else.

Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests