Starting a Career in Patents

Career opportunities in patents are becoming more and more attractive as more inventions are made around the world. If you have ever considered becoming a patent specialist, keep reading to learn about the main types of patent occupations and what you need to enter them.

Patent Attorneys

Becoming a patent attorney is easy if you are already a lawyer. You just need to register with the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). File an application, then take a patent knowledge exam at its official testing center. To learn virtually everything you need to pass this exam, take a patent bar preparation course.

Also, you will need to provide USPTO with a certificate of good standing from your state bar association. If you fail to do this, it will register you as a patent agent instead of a patent attorney.

If you are not a lawyer, you will first need to become one by attending an accredited law school for three years. To get a job in a large corporation, select a top 25 U.S. school and try to rank among the top 10% students in your class. After you graduate, apply to USPTO to be registered as a patent attorney.

Patent Agents

A patent agent does almost the same as a patent attorney, but to start working as an agent, you do not have to spend three years at law school. All you need to do is take a patent bar preparation course, file an application with USPTO, and pass the exam. To file an application, you need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien.

As a patent agent, you may work for a law firm or a private corporation. Your main job responsibilities will be to draft patent applications and submit them to USPTO in order to obtain a patent for your client. However, unlike a patent attorney, you will not be allowed to open your own legal practice.

IT Patent Professionals

Large technological companies often have hundreds or even thousands of patents in their portfolios. To manage these intellectual archives, they need IT professionals who have expertise in both patent law and technology.

If your current occupation is an IT engineer and you are not fully satisfied with it, consider completing reputable patent law courses. You will then be able to work for a major technology company directly, or for an intellectual property agency that provides patent management services to such firms.


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