Patent Agents are in High Demand
Why You Should Consider A Patent Agent Certificate
In the past few years, the term Intellectual Property has become something of a buzz word. With the rise in Intellectual Property concerns, a rise in the demand for experts to help companies protect their intellectual property has followed. Applying for a patent is one way to do that, and many turn to a patent agent to make that happen.
What’s Driving the Boom in Demand for IP Experts?
The digitalization and globalization of our commerce system mean that digital products (non-physical products like software, services, and digital media) account for more sales than ever before. Non-physical product sales can occur across borders more easily without logistics challenges standing in the way. The rise in non-physical products and our creator culture have opened the door to bad actors who pass another’s work off as their own or outright steal these non-physical products, and international sales and varying patent laws across the globe complicate the intellectual property arena.
Both within the US and internationally, intellectual property disputes have become both more common and incredibly costly. Major companies like Google, Booking.com, Costco, Tiffany, and many others have been caught up in patent cases in 2020 alone.
Since the protection of IP has become so critical to companies and individuals alike, it’s more important than ever that the patent process goes smoothly. It can take between 3-5 years to get a patent from the first application to approval. Any hang-ups could cost creators and companies valuable time where their ideas aren’t legally safe from copycats. Poorly written patents could open the door to the theft of intellectual property. Thus, the rise of the patent agent.
Is Patent Agent Certification Just for Lawyers?
When you think ‘patent agent’, you likely make an instantaneous jump to a patent attorney. However, the US Patent Office doesn’t require a law degree to act as a representative. They do require that applicants have earned a bachelor’s degree in a recognized technical subject that qualifies them to sit for a patent bar, by which applicants can be registered to practice before the USPTO. You can find the list of recognized subjects and other requirements here. Most science and engineering majors could qualify as patent agents. You can learn more about the Patent Bar and qualifications here.
Job Opportunities for Patent Agents
Many large and prestigious companies are hiring in-house patent agents, both attorneys and those with patent agent certification, to help protect intellectual property. When they don’t hire in-house, these companies often hire dedicated patent firms to handle writing, examining, and disputing patents.
As a patent agent, you could find work as an in-house patent agent, act as a freelancer, start your own firm, or find employment with one of the select few patent firms in the country.
A patent agent certification isn’t necessarily the harbinger of a career move. For scientists, engineers, IT specialists with qualifying degrees, managers, and even department heads, patent certification could be the ticket to career advancement. As a patent agent, an employee can play a valuable role within their company, one that sets them apart from the rest.
Britten Sessions, Associate Dean of IP and Clinic Director at Lincoln Law School of San Jose has this to say about how a patent agent certification can further careers: “Whether the market goes up or down, the demand for patents historically remains consistent and high – it is not directly dependent on market conditions. Applying patent knowledge – whether as an engineer, a manager, or even a director – can benefit and supplement one’s employment, regardless of their current position. It simply opens up more doors and improves one’s position.”
The Benefits Outweigh the Investment
Becoming a patent agent isn’t a lengthy or expensive prospect, particularly when you consider the opportunities that are constantly evolving in the patent industry.
At Lincoln Law School of San Jose, our patent agent certification program is a one-year program consisting of 8 units, and the courses can be done online. This allows for flexibility in timing and location, making the program ideal for anyone qualified to become a patent agent. Lincoln’s IP Clinic allows students to gain experience in the patent industry, working directly with clients to protect their intellectual property.
Does a patent attorney or patent agent certification sound like a career path that interests you? Call student services at 408.977.7227, or email [email protected] to learn more about the patent agent certification program at Lincoln Law School of San Jose.