Patent Law Interest

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
EE12345

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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:27 pm

Patent Law Interest

Postby EE12345 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:33 pm

Hello,

I graduated from a Top 15 university with degree in Electrical Engineering. My experience consists of internships and full time work in the semiconductor and telecom industry being an engineer. I've become interested in pursuing becoming a patent lawyer, but I'd like to ask a few questions: Given my background, am I limited to the semiconductor/telecom industry? What areas of the country are popular for those patent attorneys? What is the salary progression.

Thanks.

HamlinMcgill

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Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: Patent Law Interest

Postby HamlinMcgill » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:36 pm

I'm not a patent lawyer, but no one else has answered you yet, so:

Given my background, am I limited to the semiconductor/telecom industry?

No

What areas of the country are popular for those patent attorneys?

The Bay Area is popular obviously, but there are patent lawyers all over.

What is the salary progression?

The big firms all generally pay their associates on the same scale, starting at $190k now, and going up each year from there.

The main thing to know about patent law is that there is a big difference between patent prosecution (writing the patent applications and trying to convince the USPTO to approve them) and patent litigation (handling all the stages of a patent infringement lawsuit). To do patent prosecution, you need to pass the Patent Bar, which requires a degree in certain science fields--which you have, so you'd be eligible. I don't think you'd be limited to the semiconductor/ telecom industry in patent prosecution, but you might be limited to electrical engineering more broadly because your technical expertise would matter. You probably wouldn't be writing pharmaceutical patents, for example.

Patent litigation doesn't require passage of the Patent Bar and technical knowledge is less critical--although it's obviously still an advantage. People do patent litigation without any science background at all.



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