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   Patent Agent Interview Questions?
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   Author  Topic: Patent Agent Interview Questions?  (Read 8096 times)
Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #10 on: Jun 5th, 2005, 8:45pm »
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That may be a personal reason for switching careers, but it
is not a great interview answer.  You need to find something
you like about patent drafting/prosecution etc.  It might be
working with inventors, an interest in patent law, technical
writing, etc.
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Isaac
patento
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Posts: 132
Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #11 on: Jun 6th, 2005, 4:36pm »
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on Jun 3rd, 2005, 2:55pm, patento wrote:
Just finished a telephonic interview. They are now setting up in-person interview.
 
The questions asked in tel interview were very generic. Nothing to do with patent law (or any law). What you do , what do you want to do type of questions. I guess they just want to get a feel of communication skills etc.

 
Got a call to schedule interview with the managing partner.  Patent prosecution appears to be in good demand.
 
My background - BSEE with over a decade of experience.
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Kolina
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Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #12 on: Jun 9th, 2005, 7:21pm »
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Hello,
 
I am back from the interview today. It took almost 2 hours.  I am not too optimistic about the result.  There are no specific questions for the topic of patent law. I need some advice of the opinions hold by the patent agent who interview me.
 
1) He kept telling me that small firm is better place for a trainee as the on-the-job training is more effective and the supervision from the licensed patent agent in a small firm is more straigtforward.  On the other hand, large firm follows "swim and sink" sytle, they may hire many trainees, but one year later, only 20% are kept.
 
2) The life of a patent agent trainee is tough.  I should prepare for overtime work.  A new trainee is easy to be fired if he/she is not productive as expected. (This is what I worry most.  I can understand occasional overtime, but I am a mom of a 4-month-old.  Is this the common workload of a trainee in whatever firm?)
 
3) The income of a trainee varies from 35k to 70k per year.
 
Thanks,
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Jonathan
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Posts: 611
Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #13 on: Jun 9th, 2005, 9:05pm »
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on Jun 9th, 2005, 7:21pm, Kolina wrote:
Hello,
 
I am back from the interview today. It took almost 2 hours.  I am not too optimistic about the result.  There are no specific questions for the topic of patent law. I need some advice of the opinions hold by the patent agent who interview me.
 
1) He kept telling me that small firm is better place for a trainee as the on-the-job training is more effective and the supervision from the licensed patent agent in a small firm is more straigtforward.  On the other hand, large firm follows "swim and sink" sytle, they may hire many trainees, but one year later, only 20% are kept.
 
2) The life of a patent agent trainee is tough.  I should prepare for overtime work.  A new trainee is easy to be fired if he/she is not productive as expected. (This is what I worry most.  I can understand occasional overtime, but I am a mom of a 4-month-old.  Is this the common workload of a trainee in whatever firm?)
 
3) The income of a trainee varies from 35k to 70k per year.
 
Thanks,

 
 
Kolina - Sorry you had a tough interview. Actually it sounds like he wants you in that he was trying to convince you that the small firm environment is better than a large firm. That is, why go to the trouble of convincing you to consider his firm if they don't want you in the 1st place?
 
For your 2nd point, yes there is a rather steep learning curve for those new to this field. They will most likely be taking a loss on hiring you initially in the hopes that you will be profitable later on. Obviously, the sooner you get up to speed, the better. Initially you would most likely be given a low billing rate so they can easily write off excess hours due to your inexperience for when you will most likely take longer to complete assignments that a more experienced person might do.
 
Another thing to consider - will this patent agent be training you? If he doesn't have at least 7 years experience, you might do well elsewhere. I would say the same thing if he/she was an attny as well.
 
For your 3rd point, unless you are making a rather high salary for your experience level as an EE, do not accept a lower salary or more than 5% or so lower than your current salary if you are offered a position.  
 
From my general experience, patent agents/trainees at least make as much as mid-level EE's, if not more. anything below 50K for a patent agent trainee is just laughable.
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Kolina
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Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #14 on: Jun 10th, 2005, 11:49am »
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Thanks, Jonathan.  But, is what he said about large firm true?  Beside that, he told me that he doesn't like to interview the trainees who have trainee experiences in other firms.  He believes those trainees must have problems, otherwise they shouldn't leave.  Actually it sounds weird to me.  It looks like a trainee is expected to be permanently bounded to a firm until passing the bar exam.  Is this a hidden rule of IP career?
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