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Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
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   Is my career determined by my undergrad BS?
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   Author  Topic: Is my career determined by my undergrad BS?  (Read 779 times)
Agent_X
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Is my career determined by my undergrad BS?
« on: Jul 5th, 2006, 10:48pm »
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Does anyone in the field know how much my undergraduate degree will control my career and experiences in IP law?
 
I have a BS in Computer Engineering and imagine I won't be asked to work on the biotech patents or recombinant DNA type issues.
 
How much of an effect does that have on your work as a patent attorney?
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Bill Richards
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Re: Is my career determined by my undergrad BS?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 6th, 2006, 4:53am »
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Good question.
Legally, no problem.  Ethically, potentially big problem.  It all comes back to your best judgement as to your competence to handle the matter.  Read USPTO Rule 10.77.  Note that you can associate with one competent to handle the matter, too.  I think there's a spectrum.  There are some matters that you can handle by yourself with no problem.  There are some matters that you'll be able to handle with varying degrees of assistance.  And, there are some matters you probably shouldn't touch, even with assistance.  It's all about setting personal minimums and sticking to them.  If it feels bad and you can't sleep, it's probably bad.
As far as affecting your work, some technologies are hot and some aren't.  It's all about supply and demand.
Finally, all states of which I'm aware impose similar competency requirements on attorneys.  So, you'll have both the PTO and your state's rules to consider.
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William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
614/939-1488
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