How do I Become a Trademark Infringement Attorney?

T. Webster

To become a trademark infringement attorney, it is first necessary to graduate from law school and be admitted to at least one state bar. As with any attorney position, academic achievement and the prestige of the undergraduate and law school program one attends can help in finding a position after graduation. Although the law degree is the most important requirement, undergraduate studies in business and marketing typically are good foundations for a career as a trademark attorney. The reason is that this field is tied heavily to marketing and advertising, especially for new products and businesses.

Passing a bar exam is required of prospective trademark infringement attorneys.
Passing a bar exam is required of prospective trademark infringement attorneys.

Trademark infringement attorneys work in a field that is generally more creative than other legal fields, as it can involve working with senior marketing professionals from large corporations. Meeting face-to-face with clients is often unnecessary given the nature of the work. Much of it may be accomplished via telephone and e-mail. This is because the volume of trademark filings and business in the field typically parrot the economy and will decrease during harder economic times.

An application to register a trademark.
An application to register a trademark.

To become a trademark infringement attorney, similar to all attorneys, strong research, writing, and communication skills are required. Research tends to represent the largest portion of the work, followed by writing and consulting with clients. In large law firms, much of the negotiations will likely be done by more senior attorneys or partners.

Working as a paralegal in the trademark field can be a stepping stone to become a trademark infringement attorney; this typically can be done after graduation or while still attending law school. It is probably wise to attain experience in other legal areas. One reason is that the work can be tied to the economy: when the economy is down, there are generally fewer trademark-related transactions. Another reason is that opportunities for trademark infringement attorneys can be limited due to the highly-specialized nature of the work. A well-rounded approach that includes legal transactions and litigation may be more profitable.

Trademark attorneys, similar to most attorneys, tend to work long hours with tight deadlines. Some of the specific duties required to become a trademark infringement attorney include assisting clients in selecting and registering trademarks as well as the use and enforcement of trademarks. Part of this involves researching existing trademarks before determining if a new trademark may be registered. Additionally, a trademark infringement attorney may work to resolve disputes in trademark or copyright use before proceeding to litigation. A settlement may be pursued in lieu of an infringement lawsuit or proceedings with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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