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Patent Law watch

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    I was looking though a university of kings college long prospectus and it said you could do a life science course with a course in patent law. Does anyone know what patent law involves and its relevence to science? thanx.
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    Patents are applied to products in order to prevent other people making and retailing them. It is relevent to science because new drugs/therapies/discoveries will be protected by patent to other people can't use them.
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    Patent Law is a thriving profession which depends on people with a scientific knowledge.

    Basically Chartered Patent Attorneys (or Patent Agents) are professionals skilled and trained in Patent Law (the law of intellectual property, copyrights etc) but who also have an educational background in science or engineering.

    Think about it, if someone discoverd a new drug or invented a new mechanical device, they would want it legally protected via copyrights and patents.
    Going to a common lawyer/solicitor for this would be stupid because the average lawyer knows little of science and so would not know if the invention was original or not, marketable or indeed generally worth protecting.

    Hence Patent Agents.

    What the job basically involves is advising clients on their inventions and then drawing up complex specifications for the devices.
    This is then submitted to the UK Patent Office who research the invention to see if it is original and if it deserves protecting.
    If they believe it does, then a patent is granted to the inventor meaning that no party may legally copy his invention without legal infringement.

    Check out http://www.cipa.org.uk/pages/home for more info.

    Hope this helps
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    Wow sounds intresting, can anyone give advice on how A science student like myself would be able to go into patent law.
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    Obviously a degree in a relevant subject and then you need to apply to become a trainee at a patent attorney's office. There are then exams subsequent to that but I don't know anything more than that. I do however know that if you wish to work at the european patent office you will need a PhD, but that's the otherside of the coin to being a patent attorney. It is however from what I understand hideously competitive.
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    (Original post by maze.e)
    Wow sounds intresting, can anyone give advice on how A science student like myself would be able to go into patent law.
    Like Juneau says after a science/engineering degree you need to apply to patent agencies to become a trainee (called a 'technical assistant').

    This is a bit like a glorified apprenticeship where you are working and earning but simultaneously learning (and taking exams!).

    It is meant to take about 3-5 years, possibly more, to qualify; furthermore the exams are meant to be tough and many people fail.
    Also, in order to even get a post as a trainee is tough: competition is meant to be absolutelty fierce as patent law offers a career path to scientists in which they can actually earn a lot of money.

    I've heard that they weed out a lot of interviewees by tough questions, critical thinking exercises and personality tests at interview -to them only the best will do.

    However, once you're in and qualified you're sorted.

    The profession is small but stable and mid-career you can expect to earn in the region of £100,000-£150,000 a year; the top earn £300,000-£400,000 plus.

    If you're interested - then go for it but have in mind that it will not at all be an easy ride.
 
 
 
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