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   Litigation v. Prosecution
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   Author  Topic: Litigation v. Prosecution  (Read 5173 times)
Litigation v. Prosecution
« on: Mar 9th, 2006, 6:10pm »
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Can anyone advise pros and cons of patent litigation practice? Are there better career prospects in litigation as opposed to prosecution?
A friend of mine tells me that clients pay better for litigators, but act frugal towards prosecutors.  Is it easy to bill and get bonus in litigation? Is it relatively easy to become a partner in litigation?
Any thoughts?!  Your answers will help us choose a career path!
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Re: Litigation v. Prosecution
« Reply #1 on: Mar 18th, 2006, 12:09pm »
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In general, you are correct.  Prosecution tends generally to pay lower than litigation by clients perhaps because the stakes are so much higher by the time an infringement claim is pending.  However, for young lawyers beginning their patent law career, getting good solid prosecution experience will help you gain experience in the field and understand the meaning of claims more thoroughly.  
One way to look at the difference in career paths is to consider whether you want to work in "biglaw" or in a small to medium size firm.  Let's say you want to work at at a large firm, with more than 100 IP attorneys in the firm for example.  In this type of setting, the two tracks are often distinct and compartmentalized.    Many large firms have further divided their prosecution practice into separate technology focused areas as well.  As a result, many firms may well result in substantial specialization in a particular field on the patent prosecution side.  For example, in some biotech areas, an MS or PhD may be required.  
On the other hand, patent litigation tends to be broader in its focus and  not as specialized.  So, it may depend on what kind of patent practice you want to build.  
In a smaller or medium size firm, you may be less specialized on the prosecution side.  A patent attorney in many medium size firms may have a broad practice that focuses on advising smaller clients in a wide range of patent related matters.  I know of one practitioner in the Wash DC area who owns his own firm, with about ten patent attorneys.  He represents his practice as covering all three areas: prosecution, litigation(0bviously for smaller and medium size companies) and also licensing.  
Hope this helps!  Brian
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