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   Finishing college, wondering about law and IP
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   Author  Topic: Finishing college, wondering about law and IP  (Read 2062 times)
Ryan Dixon
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Re: Finishing college, wondering about law and IP
« Reply #5 on: Jul 5th, 2005, 7:25pm »
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I stumbled onto this website, and I also have some questions about intellecutal property law. I graduated from high school in May and I will be attending the University of Florida in August. I plan to major in either mechanical or materials and science engineering. How can I gain some sort of experience in intellectual property law before actually entering law school? Obviously I have a decent amount of time, but I want to make sure it is something I am interested in. I actually live in Pinehurst, NC and I don't know of any lawyers specializing in intellectual property law in this area.  Also, is there really a difference between intellectual property and patent law? I have often heard the two terms used interchangably. Finally, what kind of companies hire intellectual property lawyers? Is it limited to law firms, or do individual companies hire their own intellectual property lawyers? Thanks for all the help!
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Wiscagent
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Re: Finishing college, wondering about law and IP
« Reply #6 on: Jul 6th, 2005, 9:46am »
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Intellectual Property law is the practice of law as related to copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, joint development agreements, and related issues.  
 
At the front end, IP law involves setting up systems and taking preventative actions to avoid or mitigate potential IP-related problems.  An example would be drafting contracts, with suppliers, employees, and vendors to protect (or create) your client’s IP rights.  Another example is teaching and developing systems for employees and contractors to ensure that information is appropriately recorded and documented to protect IP rights.
 
In the middle, IP law involves drafting and prosecuting patent applications; filing appropriate paperwork related to trademarks and copyrights; drafting infringement opinions; monitoring competitive activity and sending appropriate letters to infringers.  Licensing / buying / selling technology is also an important part of IP.
 
Finally, IP law involves negotiation and litigation to defend your client’s IP rights.
 
Obviously, many of these IP law functions have only fuzzy lines separating them from labor law, anti-trust law, and other legal specialties.
 
In the United States a “patent attorney” is defined as an attorney who is registered to represent others in patent matters before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  So if want to be an attorney and write patent applications and prosecute them before the USPTO you need to pass the registration exam (patent bar).  If you want to be involved in other aspects of patent law – such as litigation – being a registered patent attorney is not required.
 
Anyway, that’s my impression as an outsider looking in.  I’m a patent agent.  I hope an experienced IP attorney adds to my perspective.  
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: Finishing college, wondering about law and IP
« Reply #7 on: Jul 6th, 2005, 2:43pm »
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Ryan, why not stop by the UF Pre-Law Club meetings?  Somehow, I managed to hear that they have a good one.  You might be able to find attorneys in specific areas by looking at who is registered for the patent bar...or by just asking around.  Also, contact the UF Technology Transfer Office (or similar). That will actually be your best bet as they might give you an internship and you can really find out what the field of IP law is all about.
 
Nick, UW-Madison is obviously waaay better than Marquette.
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patento
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Re: Finishing college, wondering about law and IP
« Reply #8 on: Jul 21st, 2005, 11:58am »
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This might also help
 
http://experts.about.com/q/1482/1640852.htm
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