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Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
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   From PhD in molecular biology to  patent prac
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   Author  Topic: From PhD in molecular biology to  patent prac  (Read 1137 times)
Neena Sharma
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From PhD in molecular biology to  patent prac
« on: Mar 27th, 2007, 8:56pm »
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Hi Everybody
This is my first post. I am almost done with my PhD. I will start my postdoc from July. In my six years of PhD, I dont think I have a thick skin to bear research pressure. I want to move to patent law and make my career in booming field.  
Q-1. I am an international student in USA (F1 visa). Is it possible or am I allowed to do this?
Q-2. I was told, contacting any big patent law firm will be helpful to start up and get trained. If its true do I have to take the bar exam or patent agent exam? Or can I take it later?
Q-3. Should I go ahead and start my postdoc and write the bar exam if its mandatory?
Please help me out here. I badly want to get out of research not because I am not interested, its not worth of time.
Thanks a lot
Neena
 
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plex
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Re: From PhD in molecular biology to  patent
« Reply #1 on: Mar 27th, 2007, 10:09pm »
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1) If you are an international, and don't have citizenship, you will have to get a job at a U.S. firm in order to qualify for the exam, as something like a scientific adviser, this may be possible since you have a PhD in a biotech related degree. Check out the application document in the OED (Office of Enrollment and Discipline) page of the USPTO.
 
You are going to need good writing/speaking English skills, clarity is essential in all forms of the profession, it is actually a requirement when submitting any sort of materials to the USPTO.
 
2) Firms are important for anyone who intends to get into patent law, big firms are just one type of experience. Usually firms are the most willing to help train a person with no experience, but it is actually the boutique (small/medium dedicated IP firms) who are more likely to provide complete training in all aspects of the IP trade.
 
3) The bar exam is not all there is to the profession though, it will only allow you to be a patent agent, which makes around 25% less money than an IP attorney, and can only prepare patent applications, and cannot take any legal actions beyond dealing with the USPTO. In order to be an IP attorney, you need a JD, which takes 3-4 years, if you work somewhat during it, or 2 years if you do it as fast as possible without working at all.  
 
You may want to try to find a firm to be an adviser, not only will it help you qualify for the test, but it is possible they may be willing to help you get your JD.  
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