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Author Topic: Patent Law  (Read 2690 times)

Scotty S

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Patent Law
« on: March 09, 2004, 02:33:26 AM »
I am going into patent law and have a scientific background (biochemistry and molecular biology) and have a question.  After speaking with several attorneys and researching the topic, a lot of opinions say that patent law is so wide open and with so few attornies involved that the rank of the law school I attend isn't as important as in other circumstances (criminal law etc). 

What do people on this board think?  Should I go to an expensive higher ranked school or go for full tuition at a 3rd tier school?  Any commentary would be helpful.

Scott
"just because we have brains bigger than monkeys doesn't mean we have to use them."

jgruber

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Re: Patent Law
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2004, 01:42:31 PM »
I don't know but have been told that sometimes you can overcome a lower ranked school effect by showing a concentration in one area of law in your law school electives and extra curricular work.  If you emphasize patent law, work in patent law during school and in combination with your previous school work, would put you in a good position.

 :)

Birdman

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Re: Patent Law
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2004, 08:09:02 PM »
From my (albeit limited) experience, patent attorneys in biology tend to have PhD's...  I have an MS in neuro and thought a lot about doing patent law, but everybody I talked to thought that I'd be at a fairly significant disadvantage given the rather large supply of bio PhD's in the market these days. 

If you have a PhD, I'd imagine the law school is fairly secondary, especially since the bulk of your clients are themselves PhD's who are going to identify with and be equally interested in your science background.

Scotty S

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Re: Patent Law
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2004, 08:40:30 PM »
Birdman--

Most of the patent lawyers I have spoken with informed me that having a B.S. in most patent law is prefered even to having a masters or PHd.  Many firms would rather have had the 4+ years in training you than in gaining the PhD. Although this is true in many patent areas it is not true in all.

Scott
"just because we have brains bigger than monkeys doesn't mean we have to use them."

Birdman

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Re: Patent Law
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2004, 01:59:35 PM »
For just about every field save biology I agree with you.  Biology, however, has suffered greatly from degree inflation in the past decades.  In the biotech industry there's a fairly strict caste system of sorts - with a BS or MS you'll only ever go so far,  and I doubt it's so different with patent lawyers.  The firm that represented the last biotech I worked for, for instance, used PhD/JD's exclusively for all patent litigation.