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Intellectual Property Law - Page 2

post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by ebmk3891 View Post

Is this universal or just some schools? By part-time, I only meant work and not school.

quasi-universal. In my mind, some exceptions would be if you are (1) already working at a firm as a student associate - common for ex-uspto types; (2) working for a government agency that offers excellent outside prospects (for IP, as a patent examiner at the USPTO; for non-IP I know less but think something like law enforcement, ideally at the federal level, might be similar; and possibly military as well).

All of these have significant legal components to the day job and/or what I suspect are useful ancillary benefits - law enforcement knowledge from law enforcement or higher than normal security clearances for military.
post #17 of 21
Hey man, I'm a lawyer in Canada but practiced patent/trademark prosecution for over a year, including US patent/trademark prosecution, and now practice corporate/commercial law. I can share some insight into the field.

First I'll just say that patent prosecution is a great field to work in as far as I'm concerned. It's an extremely fascinating area of law in that a lot of the arguments are both legal and technical and to be successful at it you need to master both and be able to weave between both. There is also tons of skill involved in drafting patents and it's a fascinating exercise that tests your ability to think abstractly and creatively about things. The only reason I'm not practicing in this area now is that I wanted to be more rounded of a lawyer but I'm almost sure I will eventually go back if I can.

I wouldn't focus too much on law school. It's way too high risk for an uncertain reward, especially in the US. The advantage you have is that you can practice in this area without having to go to law school by getting a job as a patent agent trainee. That's easier said than done but there is almost no risk. You only need to leave your current job if and when you get a job as a trainee. If you become a patent agent, then you can decide if you want to go to law school, at which point the risk will be extremely low, since you'll get picked up in a second at an IP firm if you are a patent agent. I'd recommend doing it eventually to get the variety of work, but you'll be able to decide for yourself at that point.

As for finding a job as a patent agent, you're basically going to have to network, and network hard, so you can find someone who will give you a chance. Leverage all your contacts: anyone who knows anyone who is a patent agent/lawyer. Ask to meet with them, not for a job, but more just to ask a ton of questions and let them know you are interested. You'll get your name out there. It doesn't matter if you work at a big firm or for a small unknown patent lawyer--as long as you learn to draft and prosecute US patents. That's all you need. So don't get caught up on where the opportunity might be. The key here is to break into the field.

Let me know if you have any questions but if you really want to do this you can make it happen. Good luck.
post #18 of 21
The other thing I forgot to mention is I think the USPTO is still opening an office in Detroit. Maybe there might be some hiring going on, although I'm not sure exactly what they would be looking for (i.e., if they are hiring people with no experience). But worth looking more into.
post #19 of 21
I think they are looking for administrative patent judges and patent examiners for detroit. Mostly mechanical and electrical/computer arts.

post #20 of 21

I stumbled upon this thread, but having lived in the greater detroit area, don't move to Detroit unless something really, really, really good is going to come of it. Detroit looks and feels like the setting of a post apocalyptic movie. 

post #21 of 21
dagman gives really good advice, patent agents get snapped up quick
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