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   Considering a career in patent law
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   Author  Topic: Considering a career in patent law  (Read 3770 times)
Srac
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Considering a career in patent law
« on: Feb 21st, 2007, 8:42pm »
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I am 27 and about a year and a half away from graduating with a PhD in organic chemistry (University of Alberta). From my training I gained lot of experience in synthetic organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry (nanotechnology), and learned about material science. At this point I am somewhat concerned about what career path should I take once I am done and would be interested in learning about the career opportunities in the IP field that could be available for me. There are few questions I thought I would start with, to get the conversation going,
1, Is there a strong market in this field for people with my background (preferably in Canada)?  
2, How difficult (competitive) would it be for me to start a career in IP straight out of graduate school? What options do I - as a technically highly trained individual- have?
3, What could I do in the remaining time left in my PhD to prepare for this path?  
I am looking forward for your opinion,
Cheers
Gabor  Huh
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LJP
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Re: Considering a career in patent law
« Reply #1 on: Mar 1st, 2007, 7:13am »
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1. There is a good market for Patent Agents in Canada. Additionally, It is not as important to have a law degree in Canada as it appears to be in the US.  
 
2. One way to increase you competitiveness would be experience as an patent examiner.  
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/patents/pt_employopps_p4-e.html
 
(search this forum for working conditions/salary)
 
3. Is your Supervisor planning on submitting anything for a patent in the next few months? If so, volunteer to write a draft application. It will give you a little experience as well as saving you Prof. some money since he can forward the draft to his patent agent. You might also volunteer to act as liaison.
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Srac
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Re: Considering a career in patent law
« Reply #2 on: Mar 3rd, 2007, 3:09pm »
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Thank you for your reply, I found your response pretty useful. I looked up the website you listed. It seems to me that starting as a Patent Examiner Trainee could be one option for me. I understand that there are multiple levels, like SG-PAT-02 or 03, etc. From the website it did not become completely clear to me what the difference is between them. Do you know perhaps?
 
You mentioned that if my supervisor is planning to patent any of my work I should volunteer for writing the draft. Well, he did mention it to me earlier that he is planning to patent one of my results. The downside is that he actually does not want to put me on the patent. His reasoning is that the project was his idea, and I just carried it out (in my opinion, this is not completely true). What do you say, should I still volunteer whether I am on it or not.  
 
You also did mention the possibility for volunteering to act as a liaison. I do not understand that part. What does this entitle?  
Looking forward for your response,
Cheers
Gabor
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biopico
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Re: Considering a career in patent law
« Reply #3 on: Mar 3rd, 2007, 6:42pm »
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I would caution though in case your mentor is the type of person who may willfully and knowingly screw your research findings/research credit since you will be pursuing your career in IP law not in science.  
 
It is your judgement call whether it would be really helpful for your mentor to know your plan.
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Registered Patent Agent Specializing in All Areas of Biotechnology
LJP
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Re: Considering a career in patent law
« Reply #4 on: Mar 5th, 2007, 9:33am »
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on Mar 3rd, 2007, 3:09pm, Srac wrote:
Thank you for your reply, I found your response pretty useful. I looked up the website you listed. It seems to me that starting as a Patent Examiner Trainee could be one option for me. I understand that there are multiple levels, like SG-PAT-02 or 03, etc. From the website it did not become completely clear to me what the difference is between them. Do you know perhaps?

 
SG-PAT-02, 03, 04 are pay levels. Having a PhD you will start at 03 and after 2 years training you will be promoted to 04. There are other posts that list the pay rates so I won't restate them.
 
Quote:

You mentioned that if my supervisor is planning to patent any of my work I should volunteer for writing the draft. Well, he did mention it to me earlier that he is planning to patent one of my results. The downside is that he actually does not want to put me on the patent. His reasoning is that the project was his idea, and I just carried it out (in my opinion, this is not completely true). What do you say, should I still volunteer whether I am on it or not.  

 
Arrogance.... , it often seems it is a requirement of being a professor.  
 
Not including an inventor on the application can lead to problems.  
see
http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2002/2002scc77/2002scc77.html
 
Quote:

 
 
You also did mention the possibility for volunteering to act as a liaison. I do not understand that part. What does this entitle?  
Looking forward for your response,
Cheers
Gabor

 
Liason - you would basically be the person to explain the invention to the patent agent that will be writting the application.
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