Patent Agent v. Patent Attorney Forum

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LaBarrister

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Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Patent Agent v. Patent Attorney

Post by LaBarrister » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:43 pm

What are the pros and cons of deciding to become one or the other?

I've heard that attorneys don't treat patent agents well. Well, most attorneys don't treat each other well, either.

I understand that both are able to write patents, which is what I am mostly interested in. So is the choice of becoming a lawyer really worth the incurred debt that law school brings? What is it about becoming a lawyer that makes this incurred debt worth it, as opposed to staying debt free and becoming a patent agent? Are there differences in job prospects, etc.? Do people going to law school to become patent lawyers have better chances of finding work than those who don't go to law school to become patent agents?

auds1008

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Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:57 am

Re: Patent Agent v. Patent Attorney

Post by auds1008 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:42 pm

LaBarrister wrote:What are the pros and cons of deciding to become one or the other?

I've heard that attorneys don't treat patent agents well. Well, most attorneys don't treat each other well, either.

I understand that both are able to write patents, which is what I am mostly interested in. So is the choice of becoming a lawyer really worth the incurred debt that law school brings? What is it about becoming a lawyer that makes this incurred debt worth it, as opposed to staying debt free and becoming a patent agent? Are there differences in job prospects, etc.? Do people going to law school to become patent lawyers have better chances of finding work than those who don't go to law school to become patent agents?

If you're dead set on doing patent prosecution, then just stay as a patent agent. It doesn't really make sense to go through 3 years of non-prosecution torture, and accruing up to 200,000 dollars of debt just so you can say you're an attorney. However, if you are thinking about becoming an attorney so that you have the option to become a litigator or work on the business side of intellectual property, then you could consider going through the 3 years of somewhat work-relevant education and pay your serious dues as a junior associate at a law firm.

It really depends on what you want to do. In this economy, I don't think any job is easy to come by, but if you have a solid undergrad/grad GPA or PHD for bio, then you would be able to get a job doing prosecution somewhere. You can also try out the patent examiner route if you care about job security. It also pays extremely well, as compared to other professions, even some industry positions, and it'll benefit you if you decide to become a full time prosecutor. It'll help you slightly as a litigator.

LaBarrister

Bronze
Posts: 193
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Patent Agent v. Patent Attorney

Post by LaBarrister » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:05 pm

auds1008 wrote:
LaBarrister wrote:What are the pros and cons of deciding to become one or the other?

I've heard that attorneys don't treat patent agents well. Well, most attorneys don't treat each other well, either.

I understand that both are able to write patents, which is what I am mostly interested in. So is the choice of becoming a lawyer really worth the incurred debt that law school brings? What is it about becoming a lawyer that makes this incurred debt worth it, as opposed to staying debt free and becoming a patent agent? Are there differences in job prospects, etc.? Do people going to law school to become patent lawyers have better chances of finding work than those who don't go to law school to become patent agents?

If you're dead set on doing patent prosecution, then just stay as a patent agent. It doesn't really make sense to go through 3 years of non-prosecution torture, and accruing up to 200,000 dollars of debt just so you can say you're an attorney. However, if you are thinking about becoming an attorney so that you have the option to become a litigator or work on the business side of intellectual property, then you could consider going through the 3 years of somewhat work-relevant education and pay your serious dues as a junior associate at a law firm.

It really depends on what you want to do. In this economy, I don't think any job is easy to come by, but if you have a solid undergrad/grad GPA or PHD for bio, then you would be able to get a job doing prosecution somewhere. You can also try out the patent examiner route if you care about job security. It also pays extremely well, as compared to other professions, even some industry positions, and it'll benefit you if you decide to become a full time prosecutor. It'll help you slightly as a litigator.
Thank you so much for this quick summary. I have no further questions.

El Principe

Silver
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:10 am

Re: Patent Agent v. Patent Attorney

Post by El Principe » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:38 am

LaBarrister wrote: Thank you so much for this quick summary. I have no further questions.
I thought that part was funny for some reason :lol:

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