IP Law?

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Adjudicator
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IP Law?

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:32 am

Most of the schools I'm considering offer focus areas in Intellectual Property and I'm wondering if focusing in this area is worthwhile even if you don't have a science degree from UG. Obviously patent prosecution is out of the question but I know there are other areas to IP law; is it still worth it for a non-scientist to focus in IP? Do a lot of firms that have strong IP divisions hire non-science types for this practice?

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nealric
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Re: IP Law?

Postby nealric » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:48 pm

I would say it is extremely inadvisable for someone without a tech background to focus on getting an IP job before even starting law school. Yes, you can do IP litigation or soft IP without a tech background, but it will be an uphill battle all the way or you will fall into the practice from a general litigation or corporate background.

Don't choose a law school because of a particular specialty unless it is an absolute tiebreaker between similarly ranked schools.

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sanetruth
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Re: IP Law?

Postby sanetruth » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:05 pm

If you don't have a tech background, I wouldn't recommend choosing a law school solely on their IP program. That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with focusing on IP without a tech background once you're in school.

A lot of people on TLS like to bump around the statistic that patent law makes up the vast majority of profitable work in the IP world, which may be true. However that doesn't mean there isn't a good reason for getting involved in soft IP. One of the most successful IP lawyers I know is a partner at a V50 and does solely trademark and copyright law. No tech background. She is also one of the few lawyers I know who loves her job with a passion. Quote "If I was stuck doing tax law or something I'd kill myself"

Also, you can still get into certain tech IP work without a tech background. Sure, bio-tech is out of the question, but there is tons of silicon valley work dealing with copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets that can be done without a PHD in CS.

Finally, outside of big law, a focus in soft IP opens up many doors. Advertising agencies, music publishers, entertainment industry in general, and in-house legal departments at a wide array of companies all value this sort of focus.

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Adjudicator
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Re: IP Law?

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:17 pm

Thank you, that is some very helpful information.

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merichard87
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Re: IP Law?

Postby merichard87 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:13 pm

Just to piggy back on what the other posters have said, yes there are opportunities to go into soft IP and patent litigation without a tech background but it should in no way make your school decision for you. Also be prepared to explain why you are interested in IP without a tech background.

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Adjudicator
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Re: IP Law?

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:15 pm

I'm definitely not basing any kind of school decision on IP. It's just that many of my top choices offer it as a concentration, plus one of the top firms in the region that I want to live is known for its IP department.

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presh
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Re: IP Law?

Postby presh » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:33 pm

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thegor1987
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Re: IP Law?

Postby thegor1987 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:50 pm

I don't think it would matter, you might not get to practice IP but it's not going to deprive you of the opportunity to practice in other areas after you get a job, like taxes or real estate.

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Bosque
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Re: IP Law?

Postby Bosque » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:12 pm

Adjudicator wrote:I'm definitely not basing any kind of school decision on IP. It's just that many of my top choices offer it as a concentration, plus one of the top firms in the region that I want to live is known for its IP department.


That you would single out one firm seems to indicate that there are not very many big firms there. This firm would not happen to be Foley would it?
Last edited by Bosque on Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

millanda
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Re: IP Law?

Postby millanda » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:11 pm

OK, sorry to intrude, but I'm new to all of this. I'm applying to law school this cycle, and I'm interested in IP, mainly for Entertainment Law, though. I have majors in English and journalism and am interested in eventually working in copyright (in the publishing/movie/music industry). Is it true there are few jobs in this arena? Are they difficult to find? I had no idea there was such a tech requirement for this specialization ... any advice you can offer me would be great.

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merichard87
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Re: IP Law?

Postby merichard87 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:37 pm

There is only a tech requirement for patent law. Any other area of IP Law is open to any background.

And yes Entertainment Law is very hard to get into. It's very much about networking and who you know in that field.




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