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Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
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   From academia to IP
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Isaac
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Re: From academia to IP
« Reply #5 on: Sep 7th, 2006, 7:56am »
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Not to confirm or refute the experience of the bitter patent agent, but I'd suggest seriously considering going to law school if you want to make a career of this.  In most jurisdictions it is impossible (illegal) for patent agents to become partners in a law firm which signficantly affects their career track and their potential earnings.
 
That said, there I don't believe that the starting out as a patent agent is a bad idea at all.   I'd be very surprised if you could not find a work/salary ratio higher than what you have now, and I think PhDs are far less likely to be abused in the ways the bitter one describes.
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Isaac
Wiscagent
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Re: From academia to IP
« Reply #6 on: Sep 7th, 2006, 8:28am »
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“Patent Agent” appears to be dissatisfied with his or her job.
 
It’s important to distinguish a particular job with being a patent agent in general.  Registration as a patent agent does not require that you work as “an errand boy” in a law firm.  
 
Working conditions among law firms vary.  Isaac noted that agents, relative to attorneys, have limited career tracks and potential earnings.  That is certainly true in a law firm.  But shocking as this may be to many attorneys, not everyone sees being a partner in a law firm as the be-all end-all goal of their existence.
 
Patent firms, owned and operated by patent agents, clearly do not treat patent agents as second class citizens.  Working as a free lance agent is an option as well.
 
Additionally, there are many opportunities for a patent agent to work in patent liaison and intellectual property management roles.
 
Vrglprc, I don’t see how learning more about patent law and the intellectual property business and registration as a patent agent would limit your options.
 
Good luck,
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
Isaac
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Re: From academia to IP
« Reply #7 on: Sep 7th, 2006, 8:38am »
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Well said Mr. Tanzer.
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Isaac
Patent Agent
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Re: From academia to IP
« Reply #8 on: Sep 7th, 2006, 8:51am »
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... since Isaac brought it up ...
the bitter patent agent holds a PhD.
 
Starting out as a patent agent IS a BAD IDEA.
If you're interested in patent work, forget the patent agent route. You'll be burned out and disgusted with your career like so many others.
 
You asked for frank advice ... there it is.
 
Whatever you do ... DON"T LISTEN TO ATTORNEYS WHEN LOOKING FOR ADVICE ABOUT BEING AN AGENT.
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Wiscagent
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Re: From academia to IP
« Reply #9 on: Sep 7th, 2006, 9:15am »
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"Whatever you do ... DON"T LISTEN TO ATTORNEYS WHEN LOOKING FOR ADVICE ABOUT BEING AN AGENT."
 
Full disclosure:  I'm a non-PhD patent agent.
 
Of course that doesn't necessarily mean that my advice is good.
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
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