IP Myths v Realities


3 min read

Myth 1: IP is for geeks.

Reality: Nope. Think Oprah and Britney Spears. They own copyrights. Consider brands like Porsche and Ralph Lauren. They have trademarks. But yes, if you're a bit of a tech geek, patent law could be for you.

Myth 2: IP law is hot. Jobs must be easy to find.

Reality: Think again. Yes, IP is popular. But more is needed to guarantee a job. Too many people chasing the "dream" can make it harder.

Myth 3: Engineers have an edge over art historians in IP.

Reality: Maybe. Engineers fit well in patent law. But an art historian? Perfect for trademark law. Have a background in music or advertising? You could be a fit for copyright. Remember, IP isn't just tech and gadgets.

Myth 4: Say you're into patent law, and jobs will come.

Reality: Wishful thinking. Firms check if you have the right background. An engineering degree? Great! Only read science articles? Not so much.

Myth 5: Take all the IP classes possible.

Reality: Not needed. Basics matter more. IP law keeps changing. Learn how laws generally work. Some core subjects, like contracts, matter most. Good writing? Crucial. Practical experience? Golden.

Myth 6: Decide on IP law immediately.

Reality: Relax. Choices come later in law school. Some folks find their IP passion later. Be open. Explore. Sometimes, the best careers come from the least expected paths. Keep your options open, especially if you're not science-savvy. Expand your horizons.+

Myth 7: An IP qualification is key to IP jobs.

Reality: Not true. Some universities don't offer one. And a qualification only sometimes helps with jobs. Data shows that IP qualifications don't boost interview chances. Many students nail interviews without one. They've worked at big names like BlueCross and McDonald’s without an IP qualification.

Myth 8: Any certificate will do.

Reality: Think about it. Will a health law certificate impress if you're hiring for patent law? Probably not. A certificate tells employers your interests. But it should match your job aim. Want patent litigation? Core patent classes matter more than advocacy certificates. And remember, many patent lawyers aren’t in court much.

Myth 9: An IP journal is a must.

Reality: Nope. Many graduates nailed IP jobs without one. Journals are good, but not just IP ones. If you wish, join the American Intellectual Property Quarterly or any university journal. Your student note can cover IP topics.

Myth 10: A different bar exam for IP?

Reality: Depends. Most need a state bar exam. Patent law folks might take the patent bar. It's to chat with the US Patent Office. And, by the way, patent prosecution? It's not about crime. Only patent lawyers need this extra exam. Trademark or copyright? No extra exams. And without a science degree, the patent bar won't be your ticket into IP.

Myth 11: Patent bar = patent job.

Reality: Wrong. Many students got jobs without the patent bar. Some firms even cover the patent bar cost for them. But it can be a resume booster. Consider it if you can, and it doesn’t replace valuable legal job experience. But don't bank on it alone. Many science grads in law school pass the patent bar, but it's just a part of the package.

Myth 12: Science knowledge is key for the patent bar.

Reality: Nope. The patent bar checks if you’re technically sound. No direct science questions. It’s about the US Patent Office rules – think civil procedure rules, but trickier. Been years since your last science gig? Doesn’t matter here.