IP Prospects - Qualifying for Patent Bar w/o Science Degree

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Xaintes
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:27 pm

IP Prospects - Qualifying for Patent Bar w/o Science Degree

Postby Xaintes » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:40 pm

I realize many others have asked whether there is hope for a career as an IP attorney without a science background, but I'm wondering what the career prospects are for someone who qualifies for the Patent Bar under Category B, Option 4 - which means that I do not have a degree in a hard science, but have the following coursework:

8 hrs of chemistry or 8 hrs of physics (must be sequential and include a lab) + 32 hrs of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology and engineering

I have 2 years working in both a genetics lab and an organic chemistry lab as an undergraduate, so I'm very interested in bridging science/law (my degree was in science policy - so I have a combination of hard science and policy). I've read, however, that most patent attorney positions look for individuals with advanced degrees in the sciences.

Is it worth even pursuing IP as a law student and aiming to sit the Patent Bar, or is it a fruitless endeavor without more science background?

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Bosque
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Re: IP Prospects - Qualifying for Patent Bar w/o Science Degree

Postby Bosque » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:07 am

Xaintes wrote:I realize many others have asked whether there is hope for a career as an IP attorney without a science background, but I'm wondering what the career prospects are for someone who qualifies for the Patent Bar under Category B, Option 4 - which means that I do not have a degree in a hard science, but have the following coursework:

8 hrs of chemistry or 8 hrs of physics (must be sequential and include a lab) + 32 hrs of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology and engineering

I have 2 years working in both a genetics lab and an organic chemistry lab as an undergraduate, so I'm very interested in bridging science/law (my degree was in science policy - so I have a combination of hard science and policy). I've read, however, that most patent attorney positions look for individuals with advanced degrees in the sciences.

Is it worth even pursuing IP as a law student and aiming to sit the Patent Bar, or is it a fruitless endeavor without more science background?


You might be able to finagle a litigation position with a background like that. If you are lucky. You won't be working in prosecution though. If I were in your shoes, I would try and find an area to specialize in where it is more likely you will be hired.

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merichard87
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Re: IP Prospects - Qualifying for Patent Bar w/o Science Degree

Postby merichard87 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:54 pm

I would say you have a 50/50 shot of getting into patent litigation. Its probably not gonna happen for patent prosecution but there is a chance for litigation however firms are really starting to hiring strictly science backgrounds into their patent areas for both prosecution and litigation. If I was in your shoes and I was absolutely positive that I wanted to do some type of patent law I would probably go back and get a master's in a science field. And I don't mean some recently created new interesting area that bridges two other areas. I'm talking about Biology, Chem, Pysics ... Good Luck

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: IP Prospects - Qualifying for Patent Bar w/o Science Degree

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:52 am

The non-degree routes to the Patent Bar (only needed for prosecution) have some significant practical issues:

(1) Your biography (meaning your degrees) is not going to look appropriate for a patent attorney and firms/clients are fully conscious of this.

(2) The fields you have the most credible experience in work at the PhD level of science for patents. Not only would your firm & your client need to be comfortable with you handling that level of stuff, you'd, in fact, need to be able to do it. Unless you are a prodigy, that seems pretty unlikely with partial undergraduate training & experience.




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