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Intellectual Property Law if Not Qualified to Sit for the Patent Bar

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FalconJimmy:
I've danced around this topic a few times before, but I'm curious as to the prospects of working in IP if you are not qualified to sit for the patent bar.

The facts are these:

1.  I have an undergrad degree in Information Systems.  I have a graduate degree with an Information Technology emphasis.

2.  For those not familiar, computer degrees generally come in 3 varieties:
a.  Computer Engineering - from a college of engineering
b.  Computer Science - usually from a math department
c.  Information Technology - usually from a college of business

It's not unusual to attend a school where all 3 degrees are offered.  The first two, because they involve calculus, are generally eligible for the patent bar.  Information Technology generally is not.

So, my question is this:  it seems like IT and related issues are a hot area within IP.  Is it realistic to work in IP without being eligible to be a patent attorney?

I know it's technically possible, but is it something that actually happens?

Would be interested in any input from folks with firsthand knowledge or an informed opinion.

john4040:
Happens, though not often.  I'm litigating patents, have tech-related work experience, but no tech degree.

You'll have to go to an IP hotbed.  California, Texas, Delaware, and Virginia are hot right now.  If you have more questions, message me.

FalconJimmy:

--- Quote from: john4040 on August 21, 2011, 04:15:47 PM ---Happens, though not often.  I'm litigating patents, have tech-related work experience, but no tech degree.

--- End quote ---

So, is there a key here?  Or is it just something where you stumble into it?

It's amazing to me how often what a person does in the law ends up coming down to dumb luck.  For instance, a friend of mine worked big law.  Got her first assignment in the securities litigation part of the firm.  That's what she did from then on. 

Are there things you can do to steer your career this direction?  Would some employers prefer to see a person with previous IT experience? 

Tomorrow is first day of class.   :D  I've got time to figure it out.  This would be an interesting dovetailing of my previous education and my future education, though.

FalconJimmy:

--- Quote from: john4040 on August 21, 2011, 04:15:47 PM ---You'll have to go to an IP hotbed.  California, Texas, Delaware, and Virginia are hot right now.  If you have more questions, message me.

--- End quote ---

Good to know.  I figured this would be something that might be centered in/near silicon valley.  I like Texas, too. 

Not that interested in relocating, but for the right situation, who knows.

john4040:
My course load was IP-centric.  IP firms will be skeptical of you if you don't at least take a patents course.  Play up your IT experienc in cover letters.  You will have to convince them that you can understand the technology and lingo.  Once you're in, you're good to go.

Edit: This is something I've always wanted to do.  I never had any interest in patent prosecution.

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