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(Message started by: Allan Thomas on Oct 16th, 2007, 12:27am)

Title: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by Allan Thomas on Oct 16th, 2007, 12:27am
Hello all.  I just began a PhD program in applied physics at a not so great school and have a BS in physics also from a not so great school.  

However, my grades are decent (3.8 GPA) and should continue to be in grad school.  I can already tell though that research/academia may not be for me.  

Should I continue in the program and look into patent law afterwards, or just take the patent bar now and try to get in the market ASAP?  

The main problem is I live in AR, where the market for patent law is quite small.  Thanks!

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by biopico on Oct 16th, 2007, 3:41am
The more education you have, the better you will be marketable.  

While concentrating on your study, you can slowly begin to look into IP and see whether you like it and prepare for it.  

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by shannu on Oct 16th, 2007, 6:58am
I agree with Biopico suggestions.

Regards

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by MattB on Oct 16th, 2007, 11:10am
Applied Physics is a great field.

If you are serious, apply for the patent bar soon.  It will give you a six month window to take the test at your convenience.  I suggest taking a week or two vacation to study for the test and see if you like studying the MPEP and can apply it properly.

Good Luck!

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by pentazole on Oct 16th, 2007, 12:56pm
Hi Allan,

I'm a Ph.D. chemist, and I keep on claiming that it's not that hard to get a job in the field, but it seems that a lot of people are having trouble, so perhaps I was just lucky when I was doing my job search.  

I think investing time in a Ph.D. even though you don't like it is not a good way to go.  When I got my Ph.D., patent law was my plan B.  When things didn't go the way I wanted them careerwise in research, I hopped over to patent law.

If you are serious about working in IP law, my opinion is that a masters in physics and a J.D. would be better for your career in terms of saving time and getting ahead.  What I would like to suggest and hopefully others can comment on that, is that you start pursuing your Ph.D. studies, but very early on start attempting to pass the patent bar, and start looking for jobs in patent law, marketing yourself as a masters in physics with interest to go to lawschool.

If you get a law firm to show interest, then you can drop out of the Ph.D. program and leave with a masters, start working at the law firm and in a year or 2 go to lawschool and hopefully they will pay for it.  If, on the other hand, you don't find a job, then you can continue with your Ph.D.

This is just a thought, because if I knew where I'm going to end up after school, I would have done the same, or at least I would have invested less effort into my Ph.D. because the life of a graduate student blows.  Just something to think about.

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by smgsmc on Oct 16th, 2007, 5:19pm

on 10/16/07 at 11:10:45, MattB wrote:
Applied Physics is a great field.

If you are serious, apply for the patent bar soon. It will give you a six month window to take the test at your convenience. I suggest taking a week or two vacation to study for the test and see if you like studying the MPEP and can apply it properly.

Good Luck!

You have only a 90 day window in which to take the exam.  You will find that 90 days comes and goes real fast.  I wouldn't cough up the $ to sit for the exam, until after I've studied the material.  

Title: Re: Physics PhD student looking at patent law
Post by Allan Thomas on Oct 17th, 2007, 10:20am
Thanks to everyone for their comments!  You're help is much appreciated.



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