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Author Topic: in-house interview, what to expect?  (Read 595 times)

UVAgal4

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in-house interview, what to expect?
« on: 03-05-18 at 12:13 pm »

Having worked my entire (IP) career in firms, I have an interview next week, and am not sure what to expect.
What types of questions might they ask me?
What should I ask? (it is actually a former client, so I know pretty well their process/people, at least from five years ago).
Thanks.
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ThomasPaine

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Re: in-house interview, what to expect?
« Reply #1 on: 03-05-18 at 12:44 pm »

The one question you will be asked is "Why are you looking to go in-house?"

Hint:  The answer is not "I want to get off the billable hour tread mill."

You want to get closer to the business and be more involved in the patent strategy.

Any answer other than, "I'm tired of billing my time."
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ThomasPaine

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Re: in-house interview, what to expect?
« Reply #2 on: 03-05-18 at 01:23 pm »

You should ask about the mix of work you will be doing, e.g. transactional (e.g. NDA's, MTA's, any contracts at all), prep & pros, litigation support (including any PTO "litigation"), M&A support (e.g. due diligence), etc.  Any IP duties outside patents?  Do you have to know how to register a copyright?

What's the typical day?  Week?  Month? 

What types of meetings will you be attending?  Brain storming sessions with inventors?  Regular meetings to evaluate invention disclosure?  Regular updates to muckety mucks (e.g. the VP of Whatever has a meeting every month and likes an update on the filings), etc.

What support do you have?  (Hint:  you won't be sharing a secretary with a partner, or two other associates.)  How do they docket due dates?  And satisfy them? 

Stuff like that.

Good luck.
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UVAgal4

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Re: in-house interview, what to expect?
« Reply #3 on: 03-06-18 at 04:07 am »

Thanks. How about "I'm tired of dealing with PITA clients, so I want to be a PITA client"?
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ThomasPaine

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Re: in-house interview, what to expect?
« Reply #4 on: 03-06-18 at 11:16 am »

Wait until one of your new in-house clients sends you an email on a Sunday afternoon that says, "I have a meeting with the VP of engineering tomorrow morning at 7:00.  Can you send me a list of every patent, pending application, and invention disclosure that relates to project X?  Thanks."

There are PITA clients in-house too.  In fact, probably more than in private practice.  You still have to do their bidding.  The difference is in-house your time is already paid for, and you don't have to bill your time to them.  But you still have to do the work.

In-house is not a vacation.  It's still a job.  With clients.  Lots of clients.  Including the ultimate one (i.e. your employer, the company).  Many of them are PITA's.  Some are not.  Some are an absolute joy to work with.  Not having to send them a bill for your services is great, but it's not nirvana. 
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