Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

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nezumi
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Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby nezumi » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:03 am

I know that often folks ask "what's the best major for patent law?"; what about after you've selected your major? What should you take?

I.e. for a given major, say chemistry or EE, what sorts of courses are the best/most important/most relevent to take during undergrad for Patent Law?

Are the theoretical courses better than the practical ones? Depth vs. Breadth? The more specific the better.

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androstan
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby androstan » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:58 am

Courses irrelevant. Just get your BS. Preferably in EE or chemE if you can keep your GPA healthy.

nezumi
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby nezumi » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:28 pm

androstan wrote:Courses irrelevant.


So then would you agree that passing the FE to qualify for the Patent Bar under Category C or just taking a bunch of random science courses (e.g. 10 hrs chem, 10 hrs bio, 10 hrs phys, 10 hrs engineering) to qualify for the patent bar under Option 4 of Category B is just as good? By "good", I mean helpful in finding employment prosecuting patents after law school.

patent bar admission requirements


androstan wrote:Just get your BS. Preferably in EE or chemE if you can keep your GPA healthy.


Or is it the case that just having a degree with engineering in the title, regardless of what you actually know, is what is most important?

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yeast master
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby yeast master » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:09 pm

nezumi wrote:
androstan wrote:Courses irrelevant.


So then would you agree that passing the FE to qualify for the Patent Bar under Category C or just taking a bunch of random science courses (e.g. 10 hrs chem, 10 hrs bio, 10 hrs phys, 10 hrs engineering) to qualify for the patent bar under Option 4 of Category B is just as good? By "good", I mean helpful in finding employment prosecuting patents after law school.


Definitely not. The name of your degree is critical. You will not get a prosecution job if you can only qualify in the ways you mentioned.

Undergrad courses are irrelevant in preparing for the patent bar. No undergrad course that I know of teaches anything that would be helpful.

If your question is what specific undergrad courses within a technical major would make you most marketable as a job candidate, that I don't know. I doubt it matters much. The name of your degree is much much more important than what you know or what classes you've taken, as is your GPA.

nezumi
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby nezumi » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:38 pm

yeast master wrote:
Definitely not. The name of your degree is critical. You will not get a prosecution job if you can only qualify in the ways you mentioned.

If your question is what specific undergrad courses within a technical major would make you most marketable as a job candidate, that I don't know. I doubt it matters much. The name of your degree is much much more important than what you know or what classes you've taken, as is your GPA.



Essentially, I'm trying to grok the necessity of a specific degree in both the patent bar exam administration requirement and the practical "getting a job" sense. It seems as far as the uspto is concerned how you qualify for the patent bar is irrelevant. However the general consensus seems to be that having the actual degree in engineering is the preferred/only way to get employment prosecuting patents. But in having the engineering degree isn't it implicit that certain coursework must be more relevant than other since a collection of related coursework is all a degree really is, or is it just the name? I.e. if there existed a school that let you take 4 yrs of basket weaving and at the end gave you a BS in MechE would that be better than someone who got a BS in Stats went back and took 40 hrs of actual MechE coursework (or whatever is comparable to a major)? Or would both be up a creek since one doesnt know anything and the other doesnt have the "right" degree?

nezumi
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby nezumi » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:42 pm

Full disclosure, I got a BS in Math with minors in EE and Chemistry so I already have "enough" courses to take the Patent Bar but was interested in beefing up my sci/engineering background for patent prosecution but dont really have the time for a full blown MS. Is getting another degree the only way I could likely get a job prosecuting patents?

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yeast master
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby yeast master » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:25 am

nezumi wrote:Full disclosure, I got a BS in Math with minors in EE and Chemistry so I already have "enough" courses to take the Patent Bar but was interested in beefing up my sci/engineering background for patent prosecution but dont really have the time for a full blown MS. Is getting another degree the only way I could likely get a job prosecuting patents?


I'm doubtful that taking more courses short of a MS would make much of a difference on the job market. Firms screen candidates based on technical degrees and GPA. I don't think they look closely enough at your coursework for a few additional classes to make a difference in getting you an interview.

I can't say that it's impossible to get a prosecution job with your technical background. It might help that you have minors that indicate that you can put theory into practice. But I would guess you'd be on par with candidates with Physics majors. A partner at an IP firm came and spoke with us IP-focused students at my law school and put it this way: "99 out of 100 firms will hire EE's, 1 out of 100 firms will hire a Physics major." That may be overstating it, but not by much. If your career goal is patent prosecution, get the MS. MSEE, preferably. I understand not wanting to put off a career--I've been in school forever--but if you can possibly swing it in the short term, it will pay off in the long term.

nezumi
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby nezumi » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:06 am

yeast master wrote:
I'm doubtful that taking more courses short of a MS would make much of a difference on the job market. Firms screen candidates based on technical degrees and GPA. I don't think they look closely enough at your coursework for a few additional classes to make a difference in getting you an interview.

I can't say that it's impossible to get a prosecution job with your technical background. It might help that you have minors that indicate that you can put theory into practice. But I would guess you'd be on par with candidates with Physics majors. A partner at an IP firm came and spoke with us IP-focused students at my law school and put it this way: "99 out of 100 firms will hire EE's, 1 out of 100 firms will hire a Physics major." That may be overstating it, but not by much. If your career goal is patent prosecution, get the MS. MSEE, preferably. I understand not wanting to put off a career--I've been in school forever--but if you can possibly swing it in the short term, it will pay off in the long term.



This, especially the bolded section, is the sort of answer I was looking for. Thanks a million.

So to summarize for patent prosecution do you think it goes something like BS Eng>>>MS Eng w/o BS Eng>BS Physics>>>>>>>>A bunch of science courses to fulfill patent bar admission requirements?

or is just the MS more or less on par with a BS in engineering?

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yeast master
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Re: Undergrad courses for Patent Law/Patent Bar

Postby yeast master » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:31 am

nezumi wrote:
yeast master wrote:
I'm doubtful that taking more courses short of a MS would make much of a difference on the job market. Firms screen candidates based on technical degrees and GPA. I don't think they look closely enough at your coursework for a few additional classes to make a difference in getting you an interview.

I can't say that it's impossible to get a prosecution job with your technical background. It might help that you have minors that indicate that you can put theory into practice. But I would guess you'd be on par with candidates with Physics majors. A partner at an IP firm came and spoke with us IP-focused students at my law school and put it this way: "99 out of 100 firms will hire EE's, 1 out of 100 firms will hire a Physics major." That may be overstating it, but not by much. If your career goal is patent prosecution, get the MS. MSEE, preferably. I understand not wanting to put off a career--I've been in school forever--but if you can possibly swing it in the short term, it will pay off in the long term.



This, especially the bolded section, is the sort of answer I was looking for. Thanks a million.

So to summarize for patent prosecution do you think it goes something like BS Eng>>>MS Eng w/o BS Eng>BS Physics>>>>>>>>A bunch of science courses to fulfill patent bar admission requirements?

or is just the MS more or less on par with a BS in engineering?


Actually, I gather that a MSEE would be better than any Engineering BS, independent of your undergrad degree. Focusing just on EE and ChemE it goes something like this: MSEE>BSEE>>>MSChemE>BSChemE>>>>Physics>>>>>non-patent-bar-qualifying BS.

See the forums at intelproplaw.com for a lot of discussion of these kinds of questions.




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