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Author Topic: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?  (Read 947 times)

,.,.,.;.,.,.

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What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« on: May 02, 2009, 03:59:00 PM »
 ???

I know it's copyright and trademark work, but do they just litigate infringement claims all the time?  Send out surveys to determine whether trademarks were violated?

botbot

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Re: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 04:10:54 PM »
I was under the impression that term referred to non-science background IP litigation lawyers.

If this is what you mean...they litigate IP matters.  :)

goaliechica

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Re: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 04:20:28 PM »
I was under the impression that term referred to non-science background IP litigation lawyers.

If this is what you mean...they litigate IP matters.  :)

Not quite.

You need a science degree for patent prosecution, because you have to have a degree in "engineering, science, or technology" to sit for the patent bar. Patent prosecution = "hard" IP.

Everything else IP-related = "soft" IP. Copyright, trademark, IP litigation, IP licensing, transactions, etc.

But you can be a soft IP lawyer with a hard science background. "Soft" refers to the type of work, not the lawyer.

ETA: One of you techies jump in and correct me if I got any of that wrong  :P
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ISUCKATTHIS

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Re: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 05:26:34 PM »
I've been working in patent law for a few years and I've never heard that term used.  That said, I can guess what it means and it seems like la chica is right.

I can't say anything about trademarks or copyrights, but non-science people work alongside science people in patent litigation all the time.  Generally, you need at least a few people who understand the technology at issue... but there's no need for everybody on the team to understand it.  I mean, it wouldn't be a bad idea... but it's not essential.

So, I guess I've worked with a lot of soft IP people.  They're generally litigators and do not work exclusively in patent litigation.  You don't need to pass the patent bar for this kind of work.

As GC says, you need a science/engineering background and to have passed the patent bar for anything involving patent prosecution.

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Re: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 02:21:23 PM »
I was under the impression that term referred to non-science background IP litigation lawyers.

If this is what you mean...they litigate IP matters.  :)

Not quite.

You need a science degree for patent prosecution, because you have to have a degree in "engineering, science, or technology" to sit for the patent bar. Patent prosecution = "hard" IP.

Everything else IP-related = "soft" IP. Copyright, trademark, IP litigation, IP licensing, transactions, etc.

But you can be a soft IP lawyer with a hard science background. "Soft" refers to the type of work, not the lawyer.

ETA: One of you techies jump in and correct me if I got any of that wrong  :P

Yeah, that's mostly what I meant.  ;)

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Re: What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 05:37:12 PM »
Those that have said that "soft" IP refers to Copyright and Trademark are correct, that term usually means that. I'm not sure if I agree with that term, because those areas of law can be as, if not more, complicated that patent law. However, that term is used for that purpose.

As far "soft" IP lawyers do, yes they do infringement. They also might do clearance work, write legal opinions (if something is protectable, if something is infringed). They might negotiate licenses for use. File for TMs and Copyrights. Things like that. There is a transactional aspect to it, so if you wanted to explore those areas without litigation, there are opportunities.