How do I Become a Patent Infringement Attorney?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2020
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Patent infringement attorneys typically advise and represent people who are on either the plaintiff side or defendant side in patent-related lawsuits. This area of law is huge business because patent holders go to extreme efforts to protect their intellectual properties from infringement. To become a patent infringement attorney, you generally will need a college degree, post-graduate work experience in a legal setting, internship experience in a patent firm, and a law degree.

In order to become a patent infringement attorney, it is important to get a college degree in a science or technology area, since patent work typically occurs within science or technology. For example, majors such as biology, chemistry, computer science, or engineering tend to fit this criteria. Keep in mind that getting into law school can be competitive. Thus, getting good grades in college can be essential.

During college, it can also be helpful to participate in a law-related internship. The career services department at your college should be able to help you apply for an internship. Completing a law-related internship during college can be important because it can provide you with valuable supervised experience to help supplement your college learning.

Generally, it is recommended that you apply for your first law-related job during the last semester of college. This job can be any position in a law-related setting. The purpose of this first post-graduate job is to enable you to gain work experience in a legal setting so as to improve your chances for being accepted to law school. Typically, the career services department at your college can provide job-search assistance. Conducting online job searches may also be helpful.

You could look for law school opportunities as soon as you have completed your first year of post-graduate work experience. The doctor of jurisprudence (JD) in law is generally recommended for anyone who wants to become a patent infringement attorney. During law school, participation in an internship in a patent law firm can be important because it will give you the specific knowledge of how to function in a patent law setting.

Also, it is necessary to pass the patent law exam. If you have a bachelor's degree in a science or technology area that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognizes, you will be able to sit for the patent law exam. Of course, if your degree is not formally accepted by the USPTO, you can qualify to sit for the patent law exam if you take certain coursework, but qualification to sit for the exam could be a lengthier process.

Passing the bar exam is another necessary step. Preparation for this exam should begin during the final year of law school. The bar exam is a computerized exam that includes topics addressed in law school such as torts, civil procedure, and legal ethics.

Once you have completed law school and passed both the patent law exam and the bar exam, you can become a patent infringement attorney. At this point, you will be eligible to work in a patent infringement law firm. You will be able to take clients and help them through their patent infringement cases.

After you have worked in a patent infringement law firm for a few years, you could continue to work in a law firm with the goal of becoming a partner in the firm or you could start your own firm. Whichever choice you make, you must have the courage and emotional capacity for this type of legal work. Patent infringement cases are often bitter, lengthy, and potentially involve billions of dollars.


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