Page 1 of 1

Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:55 am
by Xixak
I'm currently majoring in Computer Science/Software Engineering and am really interested in working in patent law after graduation. I have a few questions about it though.

- How lucrative is patent law? Like do you still need to go to a T-14, or is it in high enough demand that a T1 or T2 even could get a high-paying job with good LS grades/WE?
- What do you have to do after law school to be eligible to become a patent lawyer?
- I've heard Silicon Valley is one of the best places to work as a patent lawyer, do they recruit primarily in-state or all over the USA?
- Also want to make sure that major makes me eligible for the patent bar? 99% sure it does, just checking?

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:46 pm
by mx23250
If your computer science degree is from an accredited university you would qualify to take the patent bar exam, so yes, you would qualify to be a patent attorney.

T-14 is always a safe bet, but the demand for patent attorneys is generally greater than that of the attorney profession in general, especially in computer science/electrical engineering. You could still get a job with a T1 or T2 law degree, but you would want to pick the right T2 school if you went that route.

After law school you would take the standard bar but also the patent bar exam, which you must qualify for based on your undergrad degree.

I'm sure silicon valley recruits from all over, but I bet a large portion of their fresh hires come from berkley and stanford, both of which are clearly in-state with strong IP programs. Personally, I would probably take a T-14 out of state vs a T2 in cali.

Also, I might consider going to grad school if I were you prior to law school. You certainly don't have to, but if you got a masters in CS/EE you would be significantly more competitive and always be in demand as a patent attorney. Some IP firms and companies will just recruit applicants with a relevant graduate degree (e.g., masters for CS/EE; PhD for many of the life sciences). It all depends on the firm/company and how selective they're being.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:50 pm
by jbagelboy
Xixak wrote:- How lucrative is patent law?

Pretty lucrative relative to some other fields. IP salaries at large firms range from the bimodal $160K up to $180K+. I don't know as much about boutiques but I imagine they are in the same range, if not higher.
Xixak wrote:- Like do you still need to go to a T-14, or is it in high enough demand that a T1 or T2 even could get a high-paying job with good LS grades/WE?

A T14 or strong regional school in the T30 would be recommended, even with patent eligibility, for a high paying job at a good firm. GWU is often mentioned as one of the better non-T14 schools. I would not go to a T2 or even many of the T1's unless I had a decent job guaranteed before matriculating.
Xixak wrote:- What do you have to do after law school to be eligible to become a patent lawyer?

You can take the patent bar at any time if you are eligible. Depending on whether you want to do softer IP work like trademarks or patent prosecution work, that would determine your track and whether passing the patent bar is actually necessary. Many IP lawyers go through the normal 2L SA hiring route. Desert Fox can speak to this in more detail.
Xixak wrote:- I've heard Silicon Valley is one of the best places to work as a patent lawyer, do they recruit primarily in-state or all over the USA?

Obviously many Boalt and Stanford grads end up in the valley and bay area, but attorneys from any school with nationwide portability (most T14s) could bid there and get offers.
Xixak wrote:- Also want to make sure that major makes me eligible for the patent bar? 99% sure it does, just checking?


check here for your eligibility:

http://www.taprecourse.com/exam-facts/5 ... patent-bar

edit: largely scooped by the previous poster

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:23 pm
by Xixak
I'm from Canada so my school isn't on any of those accredited degrees lists.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:17 pm
by mx23250
Xixak wrote:I'm from Canada so my school isn't on any of those accredited degrees lists.


One easy solution is to get a masters degree from an accredited institution in the u.s. that way you're eligible and you'll be in high demand.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:51 pm
by Xixak
mx23250 wrote:
Xixak wrote:I'm from Canada so my school isn't on any of those accredited degrees lists.


One easy solution is to get a masters degree from an accredited institution in the u.s. that way you're eligible and you'll be in high demand.


Wait so with a Canadian degree I can't become a patent lawyer in the US? Source please?

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:37 pm
by mx23250
Xixak wrote:
mx23250 wrote:
Xixak wrote:I'm from Canada so my school isn't on any of those accredited degrees lists.


One easy solution is to get a masters degree from an accredited institution in the u.s. that way you're eligible and you'll be in high demand.


Wait so with a Canadian degree I can't become a patent lawyer in the US? Source please?


I have no idea either way. My initial assumption would be that you could be a patent lawyer and that your degree would be considered "accredited" and thereby allow you to take the patent bar. However, if your institution isn't on the accreditation list then I'm not sure? I've never looked into this. I would probably check the uspto website as they should have info on what it takes to pass the patent bar. Just search for whether you would qualify with an international undergrad degree. Science is science so I don't see why your degree in Canada should preclude you if it's from a legit Canadian institution, but who knows.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:45 pm
by mx23250
Good news. Looks like you do qualify. Check out this site. http://www.patentbarexamprep.com/frequentquestions.html. It mentions you would qualify if you can prove you received an equivalent to a bachelors degree in computer science from a foreign university. As long as your institute/program is legit you shouldn't have a problem taking the patent bar.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:22 pm
by jbagelboy
mx23250 wrote:Good news. Looks like you do qualify. Check out this site. http://www.patentbarexamprep.com/frequentquestions.html. It mentions you would qualify if you can prove you received an equivalent to a bachelors degree in computer science from a foreign university. As long as your institute/program is legit you shouldn't have a problem taking the patent bar.

computer science is tricky though. OP might not qualify. They have to check if their compsci degree has received a particular form of accreditation.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:28 pm
by mx23250
jbagelboy wrote:
mx23250 wrote:Good news. Looks like you do qualify. Check out this site. http://www.patentbarexamprep.com/frequentquestions.html. It mentions you would qualify if you can prove you received an equivalent to a bachelors degree in computer science from a foreign university. As long as your institute/program is legit you shouldn't have a problem taking the patent bar.

computer science is tricky though. OP might not qualify. They have to check if their compsci degree has received a particular form of accreditation.


That's true. I just noticed that there's an exception for computer science. I guess he'll have to check the accreditation list. I posted using my iPhone and didn't look carefully enough at the site.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:41 pm
by Xixak
So you're saying it would be a safer bet for me to do a software engineering major instead?

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:05 am
by Jimbo_Jones
I don't think Software Engineering is a Category A recognized degree. It sounds like you either try for Category B qualification or see if you Comp Sci degree falls under the Bilateral ABET / Engineers Canada Mutual Recognition Agreement. If so, your Comp Sci degree may be good. Here's some more info http://www.abet.org/engineering-mra-engineers-canada/. You may want to call the USPTO OED to see if they recognize ABET accredited schools through MRA.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:11 pm
by yukishirotomoe
Jimbo_Jones wrote:I don't think Software Engineering is a Category A recognized degree. It sounds like you either try for Category B qualification or see if you Comp Sci degree falls under the Bilateral ABET / Engineers Canada Mutual Recognition Agreement. If so, your Comp Sci degree may be good. Here's some more info http://www.abet.org/engineering-mra-engineers-canada/. You may want to call the USPTO OED to see if they recognize ABET accredited schools through MRA.


The International Mutual Recognition Agreements Search only shows US schools. I searched Seoul Accord and found my school and program in its list. So the next step would be calling USPTO to confirm if they recognize international schools through MRA (e.g. Seoul Accord)?

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:13 pm
by yukishirotomoe
yukishirotomoe wrote:
Jimbo_Jones wrote:I don't think Software Engineering is a Category A recognized degree. It sounds like you either try for Category B qualification or see if you Comp Sci degree falls under the Bilateral ABET / Engineers Canada Mutual Recognition Agreement. If so, your Comp Sci degree may be good. Here's some more info http://www.abet.org/engineering-mra-engineers-canada/. You may want to call the USPTO OED to see if they recognize ABET accredited schools through MRA.


The International Mutual Recognition Agreements Search only shows US schools. I searched Seoul Accord and found my school and program in its list. So the next step would be calling USPTO to confirm if they recognize international schools through MRA (e.g. Seoul Accord)?


My program is also in Engineers Canada Accredited Program List, but since it's Software Engineering, it probably doesn't fall in Category A automatically?

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:46 pm
by aldiddy
.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:39 am
by J-e-L-L-o
aldiddy wrote:I don't mean to hijack this thread, but this is relevant to me as well.

I will be recieving my BSEE and am curious about the job market for patent law as well. I wish to practice in TX/CA. I'd really like to work in Austin, maybe Dallas but have NO desire to live in Houston. Is there a decent market for 160,000+ pay for a patent attorney in Austin?

Also, would it be better to chose a lower T14 ( Cornell, Northwestern..) or UT/GW with a little less debt? Still waiting on LSAT score but I think these will be my options (hopefully).

I'm interested in both litigation and prosecution. Thanks!


1) Yes there are IP jobs in Austin

2)Create your own thread after you have an LSAT and admissions letters w/ scholarship amounts. Thats when you can make a decision.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:28 am
by montyross
Engineering licensure normally involves two different tests: the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, followed by the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) exam. Only the FE exam is relevant for the Patent Bar. A career as a Patent Agent has its rewards. It's a highly respectable and honorable career where you may put your knowledge to the test and solve fascinating technical and legal problems. More details about this can be found here.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:09 pm
by Xixak
If my degree doesn't qualify me I can just take the FE exam and I'm good to go though right?

Practical Engineering or Scientific Experience. An applicant relying on practical engineering or scientific experience or who does not qualify under Category A or B above may establish the required technical training by demonstrating that he or she has taken and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test. The FE test is a test of engineering fundamentals The FE test is developed and administered by a State Board of Engineering Examiners in each State or comparable jurisdiction. Neither the USPTO nor any other U.S. Government agency administers the test. Applicants desiring to take the FE test should direct inquiries to the Secretaries of the appropriate State Boards. Official results of the FE test must be submitted to establish qualification under this category. Applicants attempting to qualify under Category C must submit an official original transcript showing the award of a Bachelors degree.

Re: Patent Law

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:50 pm
by rinkrat19
Xixak wrote:If my degree doesn't qualify me I can just take the FE exam and I'm good to go though right?

Practical Engineering or Scientific Experience. An applicant relying on practical engineering or scientific experience or who does not qualify under Category A or B above may establish the required technical training by demonstrating that he or she has taken and passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test. The FE test is a test of engineering fundamentals The FE test is developed and administered by a State Board of Engineering Examiners in each State or comparable jurisdiction. Neither the USPTO nor any other U.S. Government agency administers the test. Applicants desiring to take the FE test should direct inquiries to the Secretaries of the appropriate State Boards. Official results of the FE test must be submitted to establish qualification under this category. Applicants attempting to qualify under Category C must submit an official original transcript showing the award of a Bachelors degree.

Yes, but you have to qualify through education or practice to take the FE. I don't know where a Canadian would take it. Here it's administered by different boards in each state. (Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, for example)