Patent law inquiry

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swhiz
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Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:19 am

Hey all,


I am a UG history major, one semester away from graduation. I plan to take my time with the LSAT and assassinate it on the first go early next year. My degree GPA is 3.89 but LSAC is 3.4 (prior degree which I dropped out of, started fresh years later. Excuse: young and stupid). If I find patent law stimulating but have no other science credits except calculus (got an A) and one or two other random courses like forensic science, what are my chances of finding work in the patent law field? I admit that I am a bright hue of noob, unaware of another patent firm except Perkins Coie.

aresdude
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby aresdude » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:31 am

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Last edited by aresdude on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

swhiz
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:51 am

Thank you for the feedback. I neglected to mention that I plan to take the necessary credits for the patent bar after I graduate, in a local public university, thereby not hampering my graduating GPA with notoriously difficult classes. Would it be feasible to enter IP law, with an eye on taking the patent bar at a later time after finishing up the relevant classes?

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Power Clean
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby Power Clean » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:47 pm

swhiz wrote:I neglected to mention that I plan to take the necessary credits for the patent bar after I graduate, in a local public university, thereby not hampering my graduating GPA with notoriously difficult classes.

Hmm, I'd never thought of that. Interested to see where your inquiry goes.

swhiz
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:57 pm

Power Clean wrote:Hmm, I'd never thought of that. Interested to see where your inquiry goes.


I was considering the possibility of going one step further and obtaining a pass/fail for the science credits, seeing as the federal gov't does not particularly care about grades, merely credit hours.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:31 pm

Many classes in the math and science can not be taken pass fail. Say's so right in the college catalog in their descriptions.

According to the Patent Bar Website:
2. Category B Bachelor’s Degree: Category B has 4 different options. You must have a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject) to use this category. Note that only courses with a grade of C- or better can be used. Multiply Quarter Hours by 2/3 to convert to Semester Hours.

Need to have grades for the courses to count.

And here are the full requirements for Option 2 (w/o a technical degree):

i. Option 1: Physics - 24 semester hours in physics. The courses must be for physics majors (for example, physics with calculus, as opposed to physics without calculus.)

ii. Option 2: Biology - 8 semester hours in chemistry or physics, plus 24 semester hours in biological sciences. Only biology, botany, microbiology, and molecular biology courses can be used for this option. The 8 hours in chemistry or physics must be in 2 sequential courses (that is, two courses which contain one curriculum, such as Physics 1 and Physics 2, or Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 2.) These courses must have a lab component, and like Option 1, must be intended for majors in the subject.

iii. Option 3: Chemistry - Option 3 is like Option 1, except that it requires 30 hours of Chemistry courses. Again, only courses for majors are accepted.

iv. Option 4: Science/Engineering – For this option, you need 8 hours in Chemistry or Physics like Option 2 (two sequential courses for majors with a lab), and in addition, 32 semester hours in science or engineering courses. These can include: chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. Computer science courses can qualify if they’re technical enough (see the GRB for more information). 4 hours in design engineering or drafting can be used. Note that if you have, for example, 12 semester hours in physics or chemistry, you can use 8 of them to meet the first part of the requirement and put the other 4 towards the second part.

a. Note that if you have a Bachelor’s degree but are a few credits short for one of the above options, you can take some courses at a local community college to qualify. Just make sure that your courses are acceptable before you take them.

b. Note that, under Category B, you must include official course descriptions from the year the course was taken. These are available from the registrar.

http://patbar.com/uspto-patent-bar-exam ... ents.shtml

Chem and Bio are out because you need a more advanced degree to do anything with it supposedly. So you have the 32 credits in engineering or 24 credits in physics. This doesn't count the 3 calculus courses you have to take ( you only took Calc 1...thats assuming that is the right sequence and not the one for social sciences and business majors), Linear Algebra, and Diff equations (all math) that you need to take in order to understand the upper level courses.

Probably the path to least resistance would be a degree or courses in computer science. Even that is not a cake walk if you are not a technical person.

Possible...yes. I hope you like math though instead of doing it just to get into IP. You will be in for a rude awakening

XLogic
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby XLogic » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:16 pm

I am also interested in patent law, specifically software protection and licensing. After much research I found out that in order to be admitted to the patent bar, you have to take the patent bar exam which requires a hard science or engineering undergraduate degree.

I thought, surely that does not apply to me as someone with several years of software applications development experience. I was wrong. I have a 2yr diploma in app programming and a BA in info systems, but this does not meet the requirement for the test... So I thought, heck I'll qualify some other way, under category B or C. However, that would mean at least one and a half years of physics, digital circuits, programmable microchips and the like. Dont get me wrong, this would be fun, except that I would also be working full time no matter what. Gosh even easy business classes still required an investment of time and brain share.

OK, but stop! What are we really talking about here?

It can't be the case that as a lawyer one cannot practice patent law or other IP law but for passing the patent bar exam. Turns out you can do patent litigation, patent licensing, copyright, trademark, due diligence work etc.... You only need to be admitted to the patent bar for patent prosecution and counseling, heck you Dont even need to be a lawyer for the patent bar exam.

In my case, I plan to focus on patent licensing, other IP licensing, emerging companies, and legal areas related to supporting the growth of startup technology companies. This was what brought me to law in the first place. I think I got caught up in the patent exam thing because I hate obstacles, e.g., some body telling me what I can't do -- like that has ever stopped me before. In this case, I had to refocus my priorities to realize that I do not require admission to the patent bar to practice patent law!

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:34 pm

True.

Look up lawyers at firms. Even in the IP groups there are attorneys w/ BA degrees. Just make sure you get into a top school to maximize your chances.

The difference is you won't have the IP boost that is in demand come OCI time.

swhiz
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:12 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:Probably the path to least resistance would be a degree or courses in computer science. Even that is not a cake walk if you are not a technical person.


Thank you for elucidating. I am quite technical and can appreciate computers and networking on a physical level. I even have some prior background in network engineering/Cisco certification. I studied but never took the test, understand how data transmits and the cloud, etc.

J-e-L-L-o wrote:Possible...yes. I hope you like math though instead of doing it just to get into IP. You will be in for a rude awakening


This. Love math. I think the course I took was not a social science course, plenty of anti-derivatives and derivatives with trigonometry and all the other fun stuff.

I have no qualms with a C or better, but the undue stress of striving to get the best possible grade so that my GPA doesn't take a tumble will be removed from the equation.

J-e-L-L-o wrote:Just make sure you get into a top school to maximize your chances. The difference is you won't have the IP boost that is in demand come OCI time.


I concur. Not only do I not have the boost, but I stand little to no chances unless I got to the top. I just find patent law stimulating because I love science, and the exponential rate of growth in technology will only compound the amount of work IP/patent attorneys will have. I may love science, but I don't love it more than I love the prospect of the average partner's salary in NYC.

XLogic wrote:In my case, I plan to focus on patent licensing, other IP licensing, emerging companies, and legal areas related to supporting the growth of startup technology companies. This was what brought me to law in the first place. I think I got caught up in the patent exam thing because I hate obstacles, e.g., some body telling me what I can't do -- like that has ever stopped me before. In this case, I had to refocus my priorities to realize that I do not require admission to the patent bar to practice patent law!


I had no idea you could still be in patent law without the patent bar!! Thank you for showing me that! I also got caught up, for the same exact reason that you did. Uh-oh, I am starting to get the feeling I am not the only over-achiever in the world. The notion that all law students believe they are special and will find work is now starting to reverberate. Scary.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:32 pm

Why in the world did you get your degree in history??

Just be aware that times are different now. You will have to get some courses done and maybe some work experience for firms to look at you. I've read posts on here that non science degree holders don't get much looks at the Patent Fair BUT if you have work experience that can help drastically.

There are a lot of comp sci posters on here that you can feel out for advice. I think it's better if you take classes through an ABET accredited engineering program from my understanding. But I'm not sure.

swhiz
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:19 pm

I majored in history partially because I felt it was the easiest for me to excel in, I have a natural fondness for it. My undergrad is a liberal arts school with only two science majors. Further, I only fully realized my comfort level with learning the sciences last semester when I was a junior. Before that I was only comfortable as an observer, reading new tech articles and such. Forensic science sort of woke me up to the magic of chem and bio, etc.

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dnptan
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby dnptan » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:42 am

The only advice I can give you OP is NOT TO TAKE ONLINE CLASSES - many of them are not accredited. If you insist on taking them, make sure that an official representative of the USPTO gives you the green light. It would be a shame to waste all that time.

As for not needing to be a patent attorney to practice patent law - this is true. But note that only a licensed patent attorney (or patent agent) can submit a patent. I work in IP litigation right now, mostly reviewing prior art and verifying patentability. No actual patent writing. All I have is an engineering degree.

I want to go through the patent bar as well. Does anyone have any insight to what a foreign national (not Canada), with a tech degree from a US university, needs to take the bar exam?

Sorry for the thread hijack!

swhiz
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby swhiz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:47 pm

dnptan wrote:The only advice I can give you OP is NOT TO TAKE ONLINE CLASSES



Duly noted. Hijack away, my friend!

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:22 pm

That's dumb. Don't take online classes with an unaccredited school is what I think you meant.

A class is a class. It's not noted on the transcript what format you took it in. You can get an ABET accredited BS CS degree totally online with Florida State. It will count. You can get an EE degree or even an Engineering Technology degree online and it will pass the requirements to take the Patent Bar.

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dnptan
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby dnptan » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:35 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:That's dumb. Don't take online classes with an unaccredited school is what I think you meant.


It is. It's just that it's much easier to be scammed via online classes than physical ones, mostly because they aren't required by law to give you proof of purchase.

If you insist on taking them, make sure that an official representative of the USPTO gives you the green light. It would be a shame to waste all that time.


As long as the USPTO officially recognizes the institution, then there really is no issue. But there are cases where people just take online classes without double-checking the accreditation. The cost for maintaining an online school is substantially cheaper than a physical one, so they can run on the occasional revenue stream. Physical ones need a constant flow, and are thus unlikely to be unaccredited mostly for two main reasons: 1) the difficulty in establishing a physical location (thus the need for a positive reputation) and 2) better record-keeping by their host state.

Physical establishments are much easier to trace, and thus verify, than online ones. It's easy to lie on the internet.

lalapatent
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby lalapatent » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:48 pm

sorry to resurrect this thread, but i'm spazzing out

i majored in math and minored in biology and chemistry, but i may have some how magically (??) managed to fall short despite having over 40 credits in chemistry and biology combined. and i'm finishing a phd in biomedicine which does not seem to help me out in any way :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

ok. rant over. i'm aiming to qualify via category B, option 4. i took organic chemistry I, I lab, II, and II lab where each course was worth 3 credits and each lab was worth 2 credits. that gives me a total of 10 credits. yay, right???

well i'm confused. does the USPTO 8 hour requirement mean that the 8 hours have to be fulfilled via classes only (and those classes MUST have labs) or is the 8 hour requirement the sum of the classes and labs? if it is the former, i will fall short because those classes only give me 6 credits

you guys may not be able to give me solid advice, but it is worth a shot before i fork over an arm and leg to get my transcripts and copies of archived course catalogs from my undergrad institution :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:32 am

You should have made a new thread.

But here you go. It tells you right in the pdf.

http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/GRB_March_2012.pdf

iv. Option 4: 40 semester hours in a combination consisting of the following:
8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics, and
32 semester hours of chemistry, physics, biology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, or engineering. (For Computer Science, see other acceptable course work.)
The 8 semester hours of chemistry or 8 semester hours of physics must be obtained in two sequential courses, each course including a lab. Only courses for science or engineering majors will be accepted. For Computer Science, see "Other Acceptable Course Work."
All acceptable coursework for Options 2 and 4 must be for science or engineering majors.

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Hipster but Athletic
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Re: Patent law inquiry

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:38 am

lalapatent wrote:sorry to resurrect this thread, but i'm spazzing out

i majored in math and minored in biology and chemistry, but i may have some how magically (??) managed to fall short despite having over 40 credits in chemistry and biology combined. and i'm finishing a phd in biomedicine which does not seem to help me out in any way :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

ok. rant over. i'm aiming to qualify via category B, option 4. i took organic chemistry I, I lab, II, and II lab where each course was worth 3 credits and each lab was worth 2 credits. that gives me a total of 10 credits. yay, right???

well i'm confused. does the USPTO 8 hour requirement mean that the 8 hours have to be fulfilled via classes only (and those classes MUST have labs) or is the 8 hour requirement the sum of the classes and labs? if it is the former, i will fall short because those classes only give me 6 credits

you guys may not be able to give me solid advice, but it is worth a shot before i fork over an arm and leg to get my transcripts and copies of archived course catalogs from my undergrad institution :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

I took courses that were labs (1 hour) without accompanying bona fide classes. They counted as 1 hour.




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