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(Message started by: Michael Rust on Aug 30th, 2006, 6:38pm)

Title: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by Michael Rust on Aug 30th, 2006, 6:38pm
I am undergraduate student at Winona State University majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. The more I learn about being a Patent Agent the more I realize that it is perfect for me. Because I have also studied economics so I have been looking for a way to bring biology and business together. Being a patent agent appears to be ideal.

In the next couple months I will be applying for graduate school where I want to work towards a PhD. What would be my best stratagy for both getting into a PhD program and also aligning my self to be successful as a patent agent?

Basically any insight would be appreciated

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by LF on Sep 6th, 2006, 8:35am
Michael:

Not sure what you've been told about being a Patent Agent.  I am smiling because of your insistence in economics. I for one find it very 20th century america to think that any career can be separated from economics. But then, I am an engineer, and hence the mention of the words "cost", "sell price" and "profit" are not foreign.

But, the short and long, is that your job as an agent is to condense into language your customer's idea, and to negotiate/argue/cajole with a patent examiner the merit and final form of your claims so that your customer's idea is protected.

If you don't like writing, don't become an agent. Else, it's a lot of fun.  ;D

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by Wiscagent on Sep 6th, 2006, 9:01am
Michael -

I'm guessing that you are a senior in college.  If that is correct, it may be a good idea to take the patent bar between when you graduate college and when you start the PhD program.  That way you could already be a registered (but inexperienced) patent agent long before you have your doctorate.

If you'd like to use your economics/business background you might be better off looking into a job relating to business aspects of patents, e.g. licensing, competitive analysis, filing and maintenance decisions, etc.  A traditional patent agent job - application preparation and prosecution - does not involve much business expertise.

Richard Tanzer

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by fly2thesun on Sep 6th, 2006, 12:20pm
To me, your goals and means don't really seem to match well. As just pointed out, a traditional patent agent job might not involve a lot of 'business'. And pursuing PhD (takes 5+years and hard work ) only to become a patent agent doesn't sound that efficient. If you want to work in IP, wouldn't it be more efficient to go to a law school and be an patent attorney (or just an attorney)? Or if you really like business, you can just study business itself, why bother with biology PhD?

I'm afraid that you are not really sure what you really want and just trying to pursue all of them just in case. Just pick one. business? science? law? Pursuing all of them sometimes may mean you're ambitious, but it also may be just a sign of indecision..

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by shivaswrath on Sep 12th, 2006, 3:29pm
If you're interested in IP law before a PhD, go striaght to law school. . .just get a kick ass LSAT score and write an amazing essay about how you want to study IP by briding your passion for law with your background in MCB. . .don't waste your time getting a PhD, because you really only need a JD to become a successful IP lawyer even if it's in the biotech arena. . .
as a background, I just finished my PhD and am struggling to find even patent agent/tech specialist positions. . .should've gone with the JD when I had the chance!

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by biopico on Sep 18th, 2006, 11:57pm
I agree with shivaswrath.  Why bother Ph.D. if you are interested in IP?  

Title: Re: Becoming a Patent Agent
Post by Patent_Type on Oct 31st, 2006, 12:48am

on 08/30/06 at 18:38:29, Michael Rust wrote:
Because I have also studied economics so I have been looking for a way to bring biology and business together. Being a patent agent appears to be ideal.


The best way to bring biology and business together is to work at a biotech startup.  Having a PhD helps; being a patent agent does not.  At a startup you can do bench work, and you can be part of the management and try to sc**** up venture capital, work out mergers, get lots of stock options, etc.

Even better, if you work for a venture capital firm, you can analyze biotechs and decide whether to dump millions into what might be risky ventures.  Again, having a PhD might help; being a patent agent does not.  Having a business degree helps too.

PT



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