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 31 
 on: Yesterday at 08:39 pm 
Started by FroggyStyle - Last post by smgsmc

If you can sit for the patent bar you can practice before the USPTO.
If you have a registration number you will eventually get hired.
I'm not going to argue the marketability of a MS/PhD over a BS, but in my experience the biggest threshold is sitting for the exam.
Most likely large firms will overlook you with a BS, but who wants to work for a large firm anyway?
Start in a small firm, or in house where people will recognize your value.

I of course am biased because I studied physics, so I am used to the idea of marketing myself for jobs that don't specifically call for my degree (i.e. all engineering jobs.)

"If you can sit for the patent bar you can practice before the USPTO."  Not true.  You can practice only if you pass the patent bar, not just sit for it.

"If you have a registration number you will eventually get hired."  Not true.  At least not guaranteed to be hired as a patent agent/attorney.

"I'm not going to argue the marketability of a MS/PhD over a BS, but in my experience the biggest threshold is sitting for the exam."  The exam doesn't really prepare you for patent prosecution.  If you have a good memory and good test-taking skills, you can pass it.  The biggest threshold is getting an employer to hire a newbie with no patent experience and is willing to expend time (=$$$) to train him.  I compare the patent bar exam to the written driver's exam.  If you pass, you know the rules of the road, but that doesn't mean you can drive.  You don't become a good driver until you spend mucho hours behind the wheel ... with a qualified driver by your side in the beginning.

"Most likely large firms will overlook you with a BS, but who wants to work for a large firm anyway?"  A lot of people (but not me). 

"Start in a small firm, or in house where people will recognize your value."  There have been many threads on the Catch-22, "How do I get experience if employers require at least one year experience?"  In particular, there are very few in-house positions to begin with, and most want some prior law-firm experience.  At one time, major Megacorps had programs in which experienced scientists or engineers with many years seniority with the company could transition to the IP dept (sometimes with a free ride to law school).  Rare these days.  Many small firms can't afford the overhead of training newbies.  A newbie has to bring special value to the table to be considered.  A registration number by itself is not sufficient.  Especially someone with a BS bio and no industry experience.

"I of course am biased because I studied physics, so I am used to the idea of marketing myself for jobs that don't specifically call for my degree (i.e. all engineering jobs.)" I'm also a physicist, but I strive to give unbiased info.

 32 
 on: Yesterday at 08:18 pm 
Started by Weng Tianxiang - Last post by Weng Tianxiang
Hi,
I have another problem on a written technique:

Claim 2: The system of claim 1 comprising a plurality of structures, ...

Claim 3: The system of claim 2 comprising a/the first structure, ...

I now use a first structure instead of the first structure.

Which is right?

Thank you.

Weng
 

 33 
 on: Yesterday at 07:16 pm 
Started by FroggyStyle - Last post by KING_KOOPA
First time poster here:  I am very curious about patent law and was pushed into pursuing that after my naval career.  After some research I was a bit discouraged after reading about advanced degrees in life sciences being necessary.  How true is this?  And what would my life be like after law school with my current credentials and what are some recommendations to make myself more marketable?

About me:
- BS in Biology 3.0, intended to go to med school prior to military
- 12 years as a Navy SEAL, still active
- damn good at video games haha, also pursuing fixtion writing

Thanks!

Bio works, as far as sitting for the patent bar examination.
http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent-bar-exam/patent-bar-qualifications/
http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent-bar-exam/category-b/

Also in San Diego, there is a pretty high demand for biotech patent attorneys.  Biotech patent law is somewhat specialized, which is a positive in my opinion.

You are correct that a BS bio will qualify you to sit for the patent bar under Cat A.  But the real question is whether you will find employment once you have passed the patent bar.  I'm not in the bio field, but I'm acquainted with ~10 patent agents/attorneys with bio degrees.  Three have MS and industry experience; the rest have PhDs.  Most job postings I've seen for bio patent positions (I was helping someone with a bio degree get placed) ask for MS required with PhD preferred, or PhD required.

If you can sit for the patent bar you can practice before the USPTO.
If you have a registration number you will eventually get hired.
I'm not going to argue the marketability of a MS/PhD over a BS, but in my experience the biggest threshold is sitting for the exam.
Most likely large firms will overlook you with a BS, but who wants to work for a large firm anyway?
Start in a small firm, or in house where people will recognize your value.

I of course am biased because I studied physics, so I am used to the idea of marketing myself for jobs that don't specifically call for my degree (i.e. all engineering jobs.)

 34 
 on: Yesterday at 06:15 pm 
Started by FroggyStyle - Last post by smgsmc
First time poster here:  I am very curious about patent law and was pushed into pursuing that after my naval career.  After some research I was a bit discouraged after reading about advanced degrees in life sciences being necessary.  How true is this?  And what would my life be like after law school with my current credentials and what are some recommendations to make myself more marketable?

About me:
- BS in Biology 3.0, intended to go to med school prior to military
- 12 years as a Navy SEAL, still active
- damn good at video games haha, also pursuing fixtion writing

Thanks!

In the course of my career, I've had to re-invent myself twice, due to industry meltdowns.  My advice to people in your situation (many years of experience in one field, looking to switch to a new field) is to find a new field in which you can leverage your prior experience.  Unfortunately, I don't see how you would leverage your SEAL experience in patent law  (well ... maybe handy in dealing with nasty partners).

 35 
 on: Yesterday at 06:02 pm 
Started by FroggyStyle - Last post by smgsmc
First time poster here:  I am very curious about patent law and was pushed into pursuing that after my naval career.  After some research I was a bit discouraged after reading about advanced degrees in life sciences being necessary.  How true is this?  And what would my life be like after law school with my current credentials and what are some recommendations to make myself more marketable?

About me:
- BS in Biology 3.0, intended to go to med school prior to military
- 12 years as a Navy SEAL, still active
- damn good at video games haha, also pursuing fixtion writing

Thanks!

Bio works, as far as sitting for the patent bar examination.
http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent-bar-exam/patent-bar-qualifications/
http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patent-bar-exam/category-b/

Also in San Diego, there is a pretty high demand for biotech patent attorneys.  Biotech patent law is somewhat specialized, which is a positive in my opinion.

You are correct that a BS bio will qualify you to sit for the patent bar under Cat A.  But the real question is whether you will find employment once you have passed the patent bar.  I'm not in the bio field, but I'm acquainted with ~10 patent agents/attorneys with bio degrees.  Three have MS and industry experience; the rest have PhDs.  Most job postings I've seen for bio patent positions (I was helping someone with a bio degree get placed) ask for MS required with PhD preferred, or PhD required.

 36 
 on: Yesterday at 05:59 pm 
Started by jtyshxq - Last post by jtyshxq
Thanks for your reply. I have to try my best to survive.

You will be a cog in a machine.  There will be other cogs that are just as capable of performing the same function that you are performing.  If you displease those who have work you will no longer be given work.  If you don't have sufficient work to meet your hours you will be let go.  Another cog will be purchased to replace you if you are let go.  Big law firms prefer to buy new cogs rather than repair/upgrade existing cogs.

As an agent, you will be primarily looked at as a profit generating entity.  If you produce good work product that requires minimal revisions you will be profitable.  If you produce work product, substantively good or not, that requires significant revisions you will not be profitable.

Generally, the expectation is that you will adapt to the writing style preference of your reviewer.  You will likely have multiple, different reviewers and will need to adapt to each of their preferences.  Spelling/grammar/stylistic mistakes are expected to all but disappear from your drafts very quickly.

 37 
 on: Yesterday at 05:57 pm 
Started by jtyshxq - Last post by jtyshxq
Thank you for taking the time to reply. It helps a lot.
Hopefully, I will survive.


The most important thing to learn in biglaw is when to say "No."  Don't agree to do work that you won't be able to finish in the time given. 

You have to have enough work to bill your time, with the understanding that even if you are pretty efficient, you'll only be able to bill about 80+% of the time you spend working.  In prep and pros there is a lot of "work" that needs to be done that you can't bill clients for.  Managing your docket, reviewing bills, fixing PTO screw ups, etc.  Can't bill any of that.  You probably already know that, but it will be more time when you're working in a biglaw environment.

But you don't want to have so much work that you can't meet your deadlines, both internal (i.e. to the attorney assigning the work to you) and external (i.e. to the PTO).  It's a balancing act.  Every single day.  Look at your docket.  Every single day.  Figure out how you're going to get everything done on time.  If you can't get everything done, ask for help.  Before it's late.  Not after. 

If you have too much work, and you're offered more, absolutely decline.  Politely.  If it's somebody you haven't worked with before, tell them you would like to work with them when your work load lightens up.  They will respect you for that.  They will not respect you if you agree to take on the work, and then deliver it late. 

You'll get fired if you miss due dates.  Probably not for missing a 3 month due date and costing the firm a $200 extension, but if you miss dates that cause cases to go abandoned, you'll be fired.  Of course, if you miss a lot of 3 month due dates, you'll probably get fired, so whatever you do don't defend yourself along the lines of "Sheesh, it's not like it went abandoned!"

Reviews from partners, and senior associates if they give you work, varies widely.  Some will put your work through the ringer.  Others will review more loosely.  Especially as you are coming in with 3 years experience, they might be expecting a higher level of work. 

Print your work out (yes, on paper) and step away from it for awhile (a day if you have it) and sit down and read it with a red pen in your hand before submitting it for review.  Partners are not your spelling and/or grammar teachers.  If you consistently turn in work that needs those basic revisions, eventually you will get fired.  Partners are interested in how much money they can make from your work.  The less review they have to do to have a high degree of confidence in your work means more money in their pocket.  They like that.

Other than that, you can get fired for all the garden variety reasons people get fired from any job, e.g. inappropriate "relationships" with co-workers, talking out of school, unexplained absences, etc.

Remember, they want you to succeed.  Because when you do they are profiting.  Keep making them money and you'll be fine.

 38 
 on: Yesterday at 05:52 pm 
Started by Patentstudent - Last post by still_learnin
Well despite the lack of detail this still looks like fun, so I'll give it a crack.

A decoupling device, comprising:
at least one vehicle engagement element; and
at least one tow cable coupling, wherein the at least one tow cable coupling comprises a release mechanism configured to disengage the tow cable when the tow cable is connected, under load, and substantially deflected.

This is one of the things I love about claim drafting: so many different ways to capture the same invention.

Terms like "element" and "mechanism" are likely to trigger treatment under 112 Sixth paragraph.

 39 
 on: Yesterday at 05:17 pm 
Started by jtyshxq - Last post by midwestengineer
You will be a cog in a machine.  There will be other cogs that are just as capable of performing the same function that you are performing.  If you displease those who have work you will no longer be given work.  If you don't have sufficient work to meet your hours you will be let go.  Another cog will be purchased to replace you if you are let go.  Big law firms prefer to buy new cogs rather than repair/upgrade existing cogs.

As an agent, you will be primarily looked at as a profit generating entity.  If you produce good work product that requires minimal revisions you will be profitable.  If you produce work product, substantively good or not, that requires significant revisions you will not be profitable.

Generally, the expectation is that you will adapt to the writing style preference of your reviewer.  You will likely have multiple, different reviewers and will need to adapt to each of their preferences.  Spelling/grammar/stylistic mistakes are expected to all but disappear from your drafts very quickly.

 40 
 on: Yesterday at 05:14 pm 
Started by Patentstudent - Last post by inventurous
Well despite the lack of detail this still looks like fun, so I'll give it a crack.

A decoupling device, comprising:
at least one vehicle engagement element; and
at least one tow cable coupling, wherein the at least one tow cable coupling comprises a release mechanism configured to disengage the tow cable when the tow cable is connected, under load, and substantially deflected.

Load and (degrees of) deflection would have to be clearly described in the spec. Drafted with the assumption that you don't want disengagement when the cable is connected but not loaded (e.g., during connection).

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