The number of utility patent applications made to the United States Patent Office has been on a steady increase since the 1990s. This means more and more inventors are taking steps to legally protect their inventions.
Do you have a passion for innovation and invention? Want to know more about the patent application process?
One way to break into this field is to be an inventor. Another way is to become a patent lawyer!
In this article, our focus is on the latter.
So, what is a patent lawyer and how can you become one? Keep reading to find out!
What Is a Patent Lawyer?
The patent application process is complex and filled with technical and legal paperwork. This means an inventor might have the brain smarts to create new products but lack the legal knowledge required to make a successful patent application.
This is where a patent lawyer comes in.
These professionals use their in-depth understanding of patent law to guide inventors through the patent application process. They use their technical expertise to examine products, determine the patent that the inventor needs to apply for, and prepare the necessary paperwork.
Patent lawyers also do a search to ensure an invention (or parts of it) hasn’t already been patented. Explore this page for more info on what a patent search involves.
Does this sound like something you’d enjoy doing? Here is how to become a patent lawyer.
1. Earn a Degree in a Technical or Scientific Field
Unlike other lawyers, patent lawyers typically have an academic background in a technical or scientific field. This is where they gain the knowledge and expertise needed to examine the technical aspects of an invention.
The first step to joining this career is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a technical or scientific field of your choice. You could, for instance, pursue a degree in product design and development.
2. Go to Law School
After getting your technical or scientific degree, the next step is to pass the Law School Admission Test and join a law school of your choice. Here, you’ll pursue a concentration in intellectual property law.
3. Get Licensed to Practice as a Patent Lawyer
After successfully completing law school, you’re almost ready to practice as a patent lawyer. The only thing that stands in your way is a state law license. To get licensed, you must pass a state bar examination.
4. Find Employment or Start Your Own Law Firm
With your law license secured, the last step is to find employment as a patent lawyer. You can make job applications to established patent law firms in your state.
If you don’t fancy looking for employment, you can start your own patent law firm. However, bear in mind that this move requires you to have adequate startup capital. Also, it can take several months before your firm gets a steady inflow of clients.
Go on and Become a Patent Lawyer
Now that you know the answer to “what is a patent lawyer?” you’re in a better position to determine whether this is a profession you’d like to pursue. If yes, we’ve also fleshed out the path you’ll need to follow.
All the best and keep tabs on our site for more legal tips and insights.