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   Beginning private practice
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Isaac
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Posts: 3472
Re: Beginning private practice
« Reply #10 on: Jul 17th, 2005, 4:49pm »
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The safest way to get experience is in a situation where another
practioner is going to be looking at your stuff.  IMO the best
situation is doing some overflow work with another solo.  If
your technical background fills in some gap that the practioner
cannot fill, perhaps the practitioner might find your services
useful.  I was lucky enough to hook up first with a practitioner
who was a classmate at law school, and then with an attorney I
was close to as an undergrad.
 
Your technical background seems high on academic credentials but fairly
low on experience, so maybe you'll have some selling to do.  But
I'll bet you're up to it.
 
Have you approached your old employer about any patent work?
Also, even though I recommended approaching other solo practitioners,
don't rule out approaching firms for overflow work.
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Isaac
Bill
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Re: Beginning private practice
« Reply #11 on: Jul 18th, 2005, 11:06am »
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All:
 
I want to emphasize a point raised in this string:  experience.  In my 15+ years in the patent field, I strongly believe that a patent practitioner should have at least 3 years of comprehensive preparation and prosecution under the supervision of an experienced practitioner BEFORE considering doing her/his own work.  
 
This is what Eric Stasik said in another post:
 
Having passed the registration exam, you are (IMHO) about 25% qualified to draft and prosecute applications. Drafting is hard, writing claims is hard, the procedures are extremely complex and until you have about 3-5 years of doing this under the guidance of an experience practitioner, you should not be flying solo. This is one problem I have with the US procedure - it gives agents and attorneys the right to represent clients in front of the USPTO long before they are really qualified to do so.  
 
I want to emphasize something tacit in that last sentence:  THE CLIENT SUFFERS FROM WORK DONE BY UNQUALIFIED PRACTITIONERS.  I cannot stress enough the absolute necessity to obtain experience before representing clients.  
 
So to those of you who want to represent clients with little or no experience, DON”T DO IT.  Do what Eric stated in that other post, "Thus, what you should do is to find a law firm, or patent agency, with an experienced staff and work at their slave labor wages until you have acquired the experience you need."
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ttglink
Newbie
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Posts: 14
Re: Beginning private practice
« Reply #12 on: Jul 21st, 2005, 12:42pm »
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I recently pased registration exam.   I do not have legal experience but due to my profession ( R & D) have been involved with patents, patent attorneys, licensing etc..
 
Now, I want to develop second career in IP field.  With liking for IP field, advanced degrees, several issued patents, and curiosity to learn about almost nay technolgy area, I think I can do it.  Question is how competitive/ difficult it will be to make money in this field?  
 
I was doing research about attorneys in Dallas area to see how they are doing.  There are more than 300 registered patent attorneys and agents in DFW area.  I look under each to see how many cases they have prosecuted (from USPTO database).  I was surprised.  60% were not listed as primary agent/ attorney for a single patent!  There were about 20% with 1-10 cases, about 5-10% with 50-100 cases and handful with 200-500 cases.  One even with 570 cases!  Attroneys who had prosecuted large number of cases had them in general/ mechanical area.  All with less than 50 patents had them in specific technical areas.  
 
I think, patent attornyes with lower number or no patent cases, perhaps are in litigating or in trademark/ other IP areas.  Now, considering average cost of getting a patent to be $7500-$10,000 (that is what I have paid for my patents), one considering solo practice have to have roughly 20 cases per year to make decent wage  of $100,000!  Does that seem right?  What is an average cases an avarage firm do?  How long an average patent agent takes to prepare a case?  
 
This statistics indicated that patent agent has to be very good to take upon this a full time career, as he or she is not allowed to practice in areas other than drafting and prosecuting patent applications.  
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: Jul 21st, 2005, 12:44pm by ttglink » IP Logged
mchang
Newbie
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Posts: 2
Re: Beginning private practice
« Reply #13 on: Sep 15th, 2005, 10:50am »
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I am a patent attorney with 5+ yrs of experience in patent prep and pros.  I have recently started out on my own.  Since my tech. background is in bio and chem. most of my potential client base is going to be corporations.  While I am working on this aspect of client development, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for tapping into some overflow work, to carry me through this initial time when things are slow.  Any advice is appreciated.
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