Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: outlaw on Jun 21st, 2007, 10:04am)

Title: IP career but not patent
Post by outlaw on Jun 21st, 2007, 10:04am
I'll be attending UConn law in the fall and while it is not a great school they do seem dedicated to providing a solid IP education.  I've known for years (I'm 23) that I want to do IP but do not have a science background that would enable me to do patent law.  I know it is not absolutely mandatory (supposedly) but honestly I do not think I'd really want to do patent law anyways.

My goal is to graduate and get a job working with copyrights and/or trademarks in the music, movies, sports, videogame industries.  I'm under the impression that all these fields need and will increasinlgy need IP lawyers.  However, whenever I browse around to see jobs 99% of listings are for patent lawyers.  Are there good jobs out there for non-patent IP lawyers?  And if so, how do i find/get these jobs?  

Will a non patent IP lawyers salary be significantly less than a  patent lawyer?  I understand the guy graduating from law school that already has a PHd in biomedical engineering is going to make bank, but all things considered are the patent lawyers solely responsible for bringin up the average salary for IP lawyers?

I know that was long but any help is appreciated.

Title: Re: IP career but not patent
Post by plex on Jun 21st, 2007, 11:19am
Well, if you think about it, there is a much larger pool of lawyers who can practice IP law. Patent lawyers aren't just patent lawyers, they can practice ANY type of law, so they can do other IP work when it comes up.

Patent law requires degrees that, at the very minimum take an extra year of schooling (engineering) or advanced degrees which take many more years of schooling. People with these sorts of backgrounds are, generally, not inclined to something which involves a huge amount of reading and writing such as law as well, so there is a fairly small pool of them available. Because of this, jobs related to patent law tend to pay a bit more. Non-patent IP lawyers may benefit from this as well, but they are going to find it very difficult to get hired at an IP firm if they are competing with someone with a proper background. The only way I can imagine that it can be overcome, is with overwhelmingly better law school grades, or being lucky enough to not be competing with someone with a proper background.

As you get work experience though, this will all matter less, work experience is the main thing employers like to see, it will just be tough gaining entry.

Title: Re: IP career but not patent
Post by jjkob on Jun 22nd, 2007, 5:48pm
If you really want to get into those industries, you should probably be going to law school in LA.  Unfortunately, even in LA it is difficult to get a non-patent IP job given that they are so highly coveted.  Generally, I think you have to get into a general practice firm and just try to snag whatever IP cases happen to come through the door until you can parlay that experience into a specialty niche or job at a more-specialized (e.g., IP boutique) firm.

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