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Intellectual Property as a Career

For most people, the term "intellectual property" conjures up a slew of high-profile, often odd battles over who had the first idea. Intellectual property cases have generated plenty of headlines over the years.


With the tremendous advent of technology, IPRs have come to the limelight more than ever before!


Many reliable surveys show that IP as a career is one of the most sought-after careers in recent times.


The IP industry has grown exponentially in the previous two years; the sector has grown by leaps and bounds. Working on tough IP cases inspires and intellectually stimulates many young graduates and experienced officials alike.


The reason for this tremendous rise in the IP career is that there is no boundary to what human beings may invent or how far IP professionals will go to challenge or defend that innovation for the benefit of their clients!

Every work of intellectual property contains certain creative elements. If you're a creative or intellectual person, the proximity to art, invention, and literature may appeal to you. As things stand now, the two horsemen of IP law are technology and media.


Emerging technologies such as solar, 5G, biotech, automated transportation, e-commerce, fintech, and food technology are driving significant growth in the technology sector. For the past ten years, media has been the fastest growing industry on the planet, and it is expected to continue to develop rapidly in the future, thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone and internet connection. Both of these industries rely heavily on intellectual property. Not only do these businesses generate a lot of work in terms of patent, copyright, and trademark registration, but they also generate a lot of work in terms of licensing, franchising, IP assignment, IP prosecution, and IP enforcement around the world. So, students inclined towards arenas like these are in a win-win situation!


IP as a career can be chosen by students of various science and law streams:

1. BTech graduates/engineers

A quick look at the salary statistics reveals that a career as a patent agent, which does not require a legal degree, pays far more than most engineering areas.


The biggest relief for engineers in the IP field is that they can work in their core field– Most graduates have issues finding work in their core area and associated with their degree. The IP field gives them a chance to be working in the central field of new technological ideas generated by corporations operating in the IPR Cell. Engineers have a deep understanding of the core domain, which is a prerequisite in the IP industry. As a patent professional from an engineering background, your work profile will include both technical as well as legal knowledge. If you are someone who loves reading about new advances in your subject area, and technological upgrades, then this field is right for you!


2. Law Graduates

Law is a popular, respectable and one of the most sought after careers in India. In recent years, the developments in IPR have only increased their importance, so a career as an IP lawyer is a very attractive option for students after pursuing law. The designing of confidential information agreements, license agreements, assignment agreements, and franchise agreements are all examples of agreements in Intellectual Property law that are expected from an IP law professional. As law students have technical know-how about legal language and articulation, taking up such a role will help them in the long run.


3. Independent Lawyers

Lawyers who are already in the field have a better understanding of the law and stand a fair chance to excel in the field of IP law. As an independent IP lawyer, you can handle a range of important responsibilities in the field of intellectual property protection. You can serve as an advocate for clients in court proceedings in some cases. You can also act as a consultant, advising customers on intellectual property issues. You may analyze laws and regulations for clients, perform research for various documents, and communicate with clients and other legal experts both orally and in writing.


IP professionals also stand a fair chance to work in Government Patent Offices


4. Patent examiners

They are highly trained engineers and scientists that work closely with business owners to process patent applications and determine whether or not a patent can be issued.


The Government appoints the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks as per Section 3 of the Trademarks Act, 1999. They enforce regulations and guidelines related to Intellectual property laws, and they are responsible for the administration of rules. The positions and categories change according to jurisdictions and countries.


Pursuing a career in the government patent office has its perks, and it is an exciting path where you are required to abide by guidelines and work for society at large.


Scope Beyond Borders

IP is, by definition, a global activity. Apart from local operations, there is a lot of work connected to worldwide IP enforcement.

Furthermore, IP legislation is relatively consistent around the world. The TRIPS agreement, which stands for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, is now followed by most large economies. As a result, IP rules in different jurisdictions varied only slightly.


Employers search for a specific set of skills in their potential professionals and some of them are:

  • Technical Background - They must have a solid technical background to work on inventions.

  • Analytical Skills - The ability to analyze data for IP projects requires an analytical mindset.

  • Problem-solving abilities - The ability to quickly handle client and company difficulties.

  • Learning Agility - The ability to learn continuously and quickly to accomplish desired outcomes.

  • Reading Ability - A propensity for swiftly grasping the gist of technical material.

The skillset required for pursuing a career in IP

IP as a field is interdisciplinary with few exceptions, and multi-disciplinary skill is a must for success. IP pervades multiple streams, from science and technology to business, economics, management, law, and success as an IP professional necessitates a good understanding, if not specialization, in more than one stream. Most effective IP professionals have degrees in at least two fields and are willing to learn whatever else is needed. Every work of intellectual property contains certain creative elements. If you're a creative or intellectual person, the proximity to art, invention, and literature may appeal to you. It's not just about proximity; IP lawyers are also responsible for daily connecting with art, literature, and innovation. It won't seem that way if you're filling out paperwork all day to register some intellectual property. Still, it gets better as you gain seniority and work on more contentious projects.


Let us explore the categorical positions in the IP field

Patent Agent

A patent agent, also known as a patent practitioner, is an expert licensed by the Patent Office to provide advice and assistance to inventors in filing patent applications. Patent agents can also give patentability assessments and assist with the preparation and filing of patent applications.


Patent Attorney

A patent attorney is a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property law and helps inventors secure and protect their Intellectual property rights. Patent attorneys need to have passed the "patent bar exam," a federal exam that authorizes them to represent clients before the respective patent office. They also need to clear the state bar exam, which is required of all attorneys.


Attorneys specializing in intellectual property who prepare and file patent applications. It is also their responsibility to defend their clients' rights, the innovators' patents, before organizations such as the Patent and Trademark Offices (PTO). is thorough in nature, requiring them to prepare and then argue the legality of patent documents, where the meaning of each phrase can be used to determine individualized monopolies of protection.


What are the mandates to be a patent attorney?

In most countries, obtaining a technical undergraduate degree in a subject of engineering or science is required before becoming a patent attorney. Then you'll need to have some experience and suitable qualifications in intellectual property law.


You should have a passion for legal argument, be convincing, and have an eye for detail, in addition to having an interest in the technical subjects you studied. It would help if you had excellent commercial awareness as a patent attorney so that you can comprehend and support your client's business goals.


Trademark Attorney

Trademarks attorneys guide in various facets of Trademark phenomena like trademark adoption and selection, filing and prosecuting trademark applications, advising on trademark use and registration; handling trademark oppositions, revocations, invalidations, and reassignment; conducting searches; and providing trademark infringement advice.


IP Manager

Examining existing patents and protections, developing and updating policies, detecting patent infringements, and assuring the protection of your employers' intellectual property are all responsibilities of an intellectual property manager. All these activities are managed and monitored by the IP manager, making the role of utmost importance.


IP Solicitor

They specialise in transactions involving intellectual property. This consists in licensing as well as the purchase and sale of enterprises. Litigation and resolution of IP disputes are also taken care of by them.


IP Analyst

Intellectual property (IP) analysts carry out infringement analyses. These investigations aim to ensure that other businesses or persons do not infringe on their employer's intellectual property and that their own companies do not infringe on others' IP rights. They may be involved in the preparation of patent applications in addition to investigating existing intellectual properties.


IP Analysts also assist in determining which existing similar patents may pose a threat of competition by thoroughly studying them. The knowledge of an IP analyst informs their client discussions on what R&D projects are worth spending money on and what patents are worth applying for.


Patent Litigators

These professionals invest a lot of time looking at prior art and working with technical experts, in addition to the typical work of a litigator—propagating and responding to discovery requests, taking and defending depositions, drafting court documents, engaging in legal research, and so on.


The patent litigator's job is to persuade the court that there is sufficient previous art to invalidate the patent at issue. They are majorly involved in patent infringement lawsuits or revocation proceedings.


In-House Counsel

An in-house counsel is responsible for advising and working with various teams on a variety of matters. This necessitates a thorough understanding of contracts, technology, intellectual property, real estate, and other related laws.

On the other hand, while dealing with similar work profiles, Law companies are more concentrated on a particular law sector.


General Counsel

A general counsel, sometimes known as a chief legal officer, or corporation counsel, is the company's primary attorney and source of legal guidance.

Because the GC's input is crucial to corporate decisions, they usually report directly to the CEO.


Conclusion

Intellectual Property Law has outgrown itself in a matter of years and has brought about new opportunities and new prospects. IP professionals will always be needed to obtain the rights to fresh ideas and protect the ownership of existing creations as long as invention and innovation exist. Because people's imaginations never truly end, an intellectual property professional's job takes precedence.


Intellectual property work can be a particularly intriguing discipline and career to pursue persons with inquisitive minds.

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