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yiplong

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IP Law?
« on: July 31, 2006, 12:13:14 PM »
What is the requirement for doing work in the field of IP law?  If we want to do IP law related to information technology, what level of expertise is usually expected?  BS? MS? or PhD? 

bass

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 01:29:54 PM »
If it's patent, I think you only need an undergrad degree in a technical field to sit for the patent bar (but you need to pass the patent bar).

But copyright is certainly a big part of IT IP, and you don't need a technical background at all there.

yiplong

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 02:05:54 PM »
I see a lot of lawyers at IP firms having both JD and PhD in, say Biomedical Engineering or Computer Science.  Does having such advanced degree help a lawyer on the job or getting the job?

yiplong

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 03:02:19 PM »
Do people do non-patent IP law with only a BS degree or MS or PhD degree?  What level of expertise in the related field is expected of the lawyer that does IP? 

Felsen

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 03:16:43 PM »
Everything that I've read on the subject indicates to me that the BS is all you need.  In Electrical and Computer Engineering areas, this appears most true.  There appears to be a shortage of Patent lawyers in those areas.  The PhD may give you a bit of an edge in interviewing as it is more schooling and the possibility of having better academic contacts to use as expert witnesses.  I'm planning on patent with just a BS, though, and don't expect to have a problem.  It'll be 3 years before I've confirmed my research by actually getting a job, though.

yiplong

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 03:46:01 PM »
Everything that I've read on the subject indicates to me that the BS is all you need.  In Electrical and Computer Engineering areas, this appears most true.  There appears to be a shortage of Patent lawyers in those areas.  The PhD may give you a bit of an edge in interviewing as it is more schooling and the possibility of having better academic contacts to use as expert witnesses.  I'm planning on patent with just a BS, though, and don't expect to have a problem.  It'll be 3 years before I've confirmed my research by actually getting a job, though.

I am interested in doing computer related IP work, as my undergrad was in Computer Engineering.  I wonder whether I should do a MS/JD combined degree.  I really don't want to do it if I don't need it though, MS in CS is not going to be fun.

Einstein

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 04:01:00 PM »
Everything that I've read on the subject indicates to me that the BS is all you need.  In Electrical and Computer Engineering areas, this appears most true.  There appears to be a shortage of Patent lawyers in those areas.  The PhD may give you a bit of an edge in interviewing as it is more schooling and the possibility of having better academic contacts to use as expert witnesses.  I'm planning on patent with just a BS, though, and don't expect to have a problem.  It'll be 3 years before I've confirmed my research by actually getting a job, though.

I am interested in doing computer related IP work, as my undergrad was in Computer Engineering.  I wonder whether I should do a MS/JD combined degree.  I really don't want to do it if I don't need it though, MS in CS is not going to be fun.

Pretty much what it boils down to is what you can offer the potential employer i.e. the firm.  If you know your stuff, then the MS degree would be worthless.  But if you don't have a MS and you don't know your stuff then that will shine through and you might have a hard time. 

I have heard that they prefer people that have had research positions, but given the need for EE CSE types I would think that they would be willing to look past that if you can demonstrate that you know what you are talking about.
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dmitrik4

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2006, 12:16:10 AM »
a BS is all you "need."  a grad degree is usually a plus; a PhD is a big plus.  another big plus is developing good social, writing, and speaking skills since IP lawyers are lawyers first, and oftentimes engineers aren't particularly strong in those areas.

there aren't a lot of non-technical people doing IP work, even in copyright/trademark, unless they've been doing it for a while.  firms generally would rather hire a patent-qualified person who can also handle the other stuff than a non-tech person who is limited to only copyright and trademark.

jenery

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 09:39:17 PM »
it does matter for people with a biology background who want to do patent prosecution because the big IP firms prefer biotech prosecutors to have a phd.  i have a b.s. and m.s. in biology and i made sure to emphasize to every ip practice i interviewed with that i really wanted to do litigation. 




p0six

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Re: IP Law?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2006, 12:04:35 AM »
At first I didn't understand that, but after I was studying for the Patent Bar I think I realized why.  A well written patent (and also the examiner) needs to take into account the level of someone reasonably skilled in the art.  That means that to be able to write a patent that will pass muster, you should have roughly the same educational level as most inventors in the field.  In many engineering fields, most inventions are made by those with BS or MS, whereas in biology I think most inventions are made by people who have ph.ds.

And btw, I think as of tomorrow I should be a registered patent agent.  Assuming no one objected to my character or whatever.  :)