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   My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
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   Author  Topic: My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney  (Read 5862 times)
Greg F.
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My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
« on: Dec 2nd, 2005, 3:57pm »
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I would like some advice as to the best steps to take to get into the patent law profession.
 
Background: I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in biology, and I am now working as a Research technician in a biological research institution.
 
I am considering graduate programs in different biological disciplines, and I am trying to figure out what is the best option for me.
 
Question: Do you think I should pursue a PhD, or a masters? Have any of you heard of "Professional Masters of Science" (combines aspects of business and law with studies in practical biotechnology)?
 
Since ultimately my plan is to become a JD, I'd prefer not to waste time in a PhD, but I don't want to be at a significant disadvantage either.
 
After Graduate school, I would like to take the patent exam, and work as an agent to see if I truly like the profession (Also perhaps find a firm that would be willing to pay tuition for law school). My final step would be to go to law school to become a full-fledged attorney.
 
What do you think about this plan of action? Any suggestions?
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Wiscagent
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Re: My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
« Reply #1 on: Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:11pm »
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I suggest that you read some general background references on patents and patent law:  perhaps study the USPTO or WIPO web sites; read “Patent It Yourself” or a similar layman’s text; study a patent law book; and read the postings on this web site.  If you do all that, within a few months you will have a broad, general perspective on what patents are, how they work, and some of the issues associated with patents and the intellectual property law profession.
 
If you’re still interested at that point, you should study for and then take the patent bar exam.  Once you pass that hurdle, you’ll be a patent practitioner.  Then you can decide if you want to go to law school and into the practice of law.
 
In my opinion (and I know many others in this forum disagree) if you are not interested in pursuing a graduate degree in biology for its own sake, then you shouldn’t (in your words) “waste your time” in graduate school.  If you start law school next fall, it will be the year 2008, ’09, or later (full time/part time) before you graduate.  The employment data and opportunities in 2005 will be irrelevant.  Also, it is likely that your interests will change – just because you are interested in patent law now, does not mean that you will still be interested in that aspect of law in several years.
 
Best of luck.  By the way all this advice is from a guy who has neither a PhD nor a JD.
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Greg F.
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Re: My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
« Reply #2 on: Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:29pm »
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Thank you for your advice.
 
Just as a clarification, I am still very interested in the sciences, but I do not want a career in academic research (the traditional career for a PhD).  
Therefore, I would like to continue to study biology, but I would prefer not to spend 5-6 years in a PhD program if it is not necessary.
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Guest
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Re: My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
« Reply #3 on: Dec 13th, 2005, 5:07pm »
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I suggest reviewing other posts on this topic - (and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) but from what I've read most firms require a minimum of a PhD for patent agents and attorney in the biological sciences.  
 
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Patent Monk
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Re: My plan for becoming a Patent Attorney
« Reply #4 on: Dec 13th, 2005, 9:02pm »
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Since you seem to be a bit uncertain about whether you really want to go into the field, you might also try to get an internship or summer job at a patent firm as a patent engineer.  This would give you a chance to learn firsthand whether it is of interest.
 
It may be harder to find such a slot within the U.S.  I spent time overseas "teaching Inglis," which led to a job doing grammar editing on applications for a student's company.
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