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Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
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   IP career without a patent agent license
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   Author  Topic: IP career without a patent agent license  (Read 697 times)
smgsmc
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IP career without a patent agent license
« on: May 17th, 2006, 3:03pm »
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Hypothetically:  If I don't pass my patent bar exam after my 2nd try, and throw my hands up in the air, what career opportunities are available in IP?  I have a PhD in physics and 20+ yrs in optoelectronic devices and telcom engineering.  Do companies, universities, and law firms hire technical specialists to work with patent agents and attorneys?  All stories +/- are welcome.  Thanks.
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Isaac
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Re: IP career without a patent agent license
« Reply #1 on: May 17th, 2006, 4:33pm »
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Sometimes.   An ex coworker of mine with a MS in physics worked at a law firm for a number of years without a registration number.   He took and passed the bar exam relatively recently.
 
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Isaac
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Re: IP career without a patent agent license
« Reply #2 on: May 17th, 2006, 6:18pm »
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I'm in somewhat the same situation as you smgsmc, except without the 20 years experience. I tried applying for a few tech advisor positions with little luck.  
 
From what I've gathered from talking to the IP people at chemistry meetings, you won't really make the law firm money for your first year or two. You'll have your billable hours cut and you'll take up other people's time as you learn how to properly write patents. Check out some online job sites and you'll see that most jobs want 1-2 years of experience. Those who have passed the patent bar probably take a little less time to become profitable.  
 
Next, the pool of scientists is quite large while the pool of patent people is quite small. Naturally a certain percentage of people from each field are going to be fed up with their jobs and looking for a change. I would imagine that a USPTO registration number is a great way to show that you are really interested in patent law and not just looking for any job that is different from your current one.  
 
All that being said, I've only recently passed the USPTO exam and am still in the process of looking for positions as a patent agent, so I can't really state for certain that passing the exam has made any bit of difference.
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