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   Advice on changing career to patent agent
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   Author  Topic: Advice on changing career to patent agent  (Read 2935 times)
Powerman
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Posts: 1
Advice on changing career to patent agent
« on: Jul 28th, 2005, 10:54am »
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Hello,
 
I will greatly appreciate anyone's answering my questions.  First, let me give you my situation.
 
I am yet another person who is just starting to look into being a patent agent.   I am software engineer with about 20 years of experience and, frankly, I'm pretty much fed up with the constant layoff anxiety in this field.
So, I'm looking into working in the legal field, hoping that I can be less subject to layoff pressure.  
 
I applied to (and was accepted) at the Dallas-area law schools but, at 46 years of age, it really doesn't seem like a viable option for me.
So, instead, I'm looking at passing the patent exam and getting some sort of paralegal training and then hitting the streets to look for a job.  
 
Here are my questions:
 
1)  What is the best paralegal certification to get?
     If anyone knows where to get this in the Dallas area
     that will be great to know.
 
2) Assuming that I get paralegal training and pass the
    patent exam, what is the likelihood that I could get
    a job?  In a firm?  In a corporation?
 
3) I assume that working in a firm would b preferrable  
    to working in a corporation; I disagreeumption is based
    on I disagreeumption that firms will allow a person to
    work as long as they are healthy and productive,  
    whereas corporations seem to have an "out with the  
    old, in with the young" sort of an attitude.  
    Any comments on this assumption?
 
4) What percentage of patent agents work in firms,  
    as opposed to corporations?
 
5) With the resume I would be presenting (ie, 20 years
    as an engineer, paralegal certification, and patent
    exam) would I have a reasonable chance to get on
    with a decent-sized (not necessarily BIGLAW) firm?
    Would I have a significantly better chance to get on
    with a corporation?
 
6) What would my starting salarly likely be?  What about
    salary projection over, say, the next 10 to 15 years?
 
Thanks again in advance for any comments!
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PiP
Junior Member
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Posts: 74
Re: Advice on changing career to patent agent
« Reply #1 on: Jul 28th, 2005, 2:28pm »
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I cannot advise on most of what you are interested in.  
 
However, during your 20 years of experience have you been involved with a large enough company to have a dedicated legal department or have enough connections through your work to make some sort of legal connections through which you could find a job?  This would be by far your best bet to find a job.  Even if others can guage your potential options, you need to find a job by this method 1st.  In what I've read, you may be faced with paycuts to move into law as a patent agent. Cry
 
You also might want to hang out at your current company depending on your pension options, particularly if you have a non-contributory defined plan (or nice non-defined plan and assuming you have the minimum service time.)  Seems so risky to change over for only $60-80k per year for minimal job security. Undecided
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Dean
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Re: Advice on changing career to patent agent
« Reply #2 on: Jul 29th, 2005, 8:31am »
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I would not advise it. See my response to rrogers, below.
 
Dean
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Wiscagent
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Posts: 843
Re: Advice on changing career to patent agent
« Reply #3 on: Jul 29th, 2005, 8:52am »
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You may want to consider leveraging your interest in patents with your experience as a software engineer by looking into jobs as a patent facilitator (a.k.a. patent strategist, patent engineer, patent liaison).  These kinds of jobs involve working with technical and legal staff, usually in a large organization, to encourage disclosure of inventions, to act as a "translator" between technical personnel and legal personnel, and to add in-depth understanding of business needs and a technical perspective to legal decision making.  
 
The patent facilitator may have the responsibility of tracking competitive patent activity, have a voice in filing decisions, and developing i.p. strategy.  While not generally required, being registered as a patent agent is desirable for such positions.
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
bjr
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Re: Advice on changing career to patent agent
« Reply #4 on: Jul 29th, 2005, 9:35am »
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Just a passing comment that you do not need a paralegal certificate to work as a patent agent.  A paralegal certificate is irrelevant and would not be beneficial to your goal of becoming a patent agent.
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