WHAT IS PATENT LAW?
Patent law is a subset of intellectual property law that usually requires an educational background in a scientific or technological field.
A patent is a property right protecting an inventor's interest in a technical development, whether that development is a machine, a pharmaceutical product, an electronic device, computer hardware or software, or even a living organism. Patent law protects these inventions. By filing and obtaining a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the inventor of a product receives a monopoly on the commercial exploitation and use of a product for up to 20 years.
Patent Prosecution vs. Patent Litigation
- Patent prosecutors specialize in preparing and obtaining ("prosecuting") patent applications before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. These attorneys must have technical training, such as an undergraduate degree in engineering, biological, or physical science and must pass the United States Patent & Trademark Office's Patent Bar Exam.
- Patent litigation is more akin to general litigation, but the parties are litigating issues relating to certain patents. Unlike patent prosecutors, patent litigators do not need to have a technical background. However, having a technical background is often helpful in terms of understanding the technology, which is often highly complex.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN PURSUING A CAREER IN PATENT LAW...
1. It is necessary that you have a technical educational background.
3. Work as a judicial extern during law school to help develop strong writing skills.
4. Improve your legal writing by joining one of Loyola's student publications.
5. Participate in Loyola's Patent Law Interview Program the summers after your 1L and 2L years.
7. Join the ABA as a student member and participate in events planned by the Section of Intellectual Property Law.
8. Get to know Cynthia Ho - Loyola's resident patent law expert!
PATENT LAW RESOURCES