This article has been written by Oishika Banerji of Amity Law School, Kolkata. This article provides a detailed analysis of the various opportunities that are available for an IP lawyer in India and abroad.
Table of Contents
An IP lawyer both in India and abroad has a sea of opportunities to dive in. The major jobs that an IP lawyer has to do in their professional career are;
- Preparing documentation required for patents or trademarks petition is a frequent activity for IP lawyers, and they subsequently work with patent and trademark agencies in the United States and around the world to obtain the same.
- Another important job is representing a person or organization in disputes with third parties that are abusing intellectual property. It could be as simple as writing a formal letter citing intellectual property ownership and stating that it cannot be utilized without authorization. It might also be as complicated as filing a lawsuit and then going to court if a settlement cannot be struck.
- IP lawyers can assist businesses and individuals in defending themselves against over-assertions of intellectual property by so-called “IP-bullies,” or brands and businesses that overly enforce their rights.
- IP lawyers may analyze laws and regulations for clients, perform research for various documents, and communicate with clients and other legal experts both orally and in writing.
I’m assuming you’re reading this because you’re considering a career in intellectual property law at some level. Let me paint you a picture that will help you decide whether to go for it or not, or simply examine the possibilities. You can look into these two articles as well which can provide you with additional knowledge concerning this topic;
Opportunities available in India for IP lawyers
Emerging careers in IP in India
Competition law is understood to discourage monopolistic behaviour whereas IP is known to achieve a monopoly over innovation or invention. In-depth study of a company’s strategies and policies, as well as the formulation of new ones and the drafting of agreements, is thus a rising possibility for IP lawyers. Major career opportunities in this field are a data analyst, policy drafting (as sui generis legislation is required in the majority of the IP fields), using patent pools for competition policy analysis in law firms, etc.
Audits and Valuation
Intellectual Property Auditing is a tool that is commonly used by businesses to account for the intangible assets that they have generated through time. Several law firms across India are offering IP audits and valuation services.
The creation of confidential information agreements, licence agreements, assignment agreements, and franchise agreements are all examples of agreements(to name a few) in Intellectual Property law that are required in companies. Firms like Anand and Anand, Khurana and Khurana, RK Dewan & Co are some of the tier-1 firms where one can apply.
Media, Fashion and Sports
These are the specialised areas of law where intellectual property law is crucial. They not only require a patent, copyright, and trademark registration, but they also generate a significant amount of labour in the areas of licencing, franchising, IP assignment, IP prosecution, and IP enforcement around the world.
Investigation and Enforcement Advisory
Discovering IP infringement is one of the most important aspects of IP enforcement. In such cases, investigators who are familiar with IP laws are better qualified to investigate and provide appropriate advice on whether or not enforcement action should be taken.
Science or technical background and looking for a career in IP
- If you have a scientific or technological background and want to work in IP, you should know that there are several chances available with medium and large R&D organisations, law firms, and KPOs/LPOs.
- Once you’ve started working in this profession, you might want to take the Patent Agent test (www.ipindia.nic.in) and enrol in WIPO certification courses (www.wipo.net).
- Consider pursuing a full-fledged law degree if you have the time and desire. A Diploma in Intellectual Property is offered by a few Indian law schools. Even if you don’t have a formal law degree at the undergraduate level, a few overseas colleges offer Masters Degrees in Law with a speciality in IP.
Non-technical IP lawyers
- Legal associates: Legal associates are majorly focused on the corporate work environment. For eg IP counsel, IP advisor, etc of any law firms in or outside India.
- Judge: A judge is not specifically for the field of intellectual property but the law as general. An extremely reputed professional field in law is that of a judge.
- Lecturer: Lecturer is an academic profession in the IP field. One can teach intellectual property in colleges and universities. This profession is highly demanded because of the rising interest in the field of intellectual property as a specialization subject.
- Author: Any individual specializing in intellectual property can become an author according to their interest. Extensive amounts of research work are involved if one intends to become an IP author.
- Journalist: Individuals who work as legal journalists cover themes that are fully relevant to the law. Their duty includes specialised reporting on all things relating to the legal profession. Legal journalists grasp the legal issue at hand and communicate it to the broader public using a variety of media.
Government Jobs in Intellectual Property
Candidates can enrol in the following educational courses to obtain career prospects in the field of intellectual property:
- Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights and Patent Management;
- Post Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law and Practice;
- Certificate course in Intellectual Property Rights & Information Technology;
- Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Right Law.
Some of the government organizations that recently recruited candidates for the field of intellectual property:
- Program Manager (Intellectual Property): Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Programme.
- Technical Member: Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
Pay scale of IP lawyer in India
- Legal Associates: INR 1,99,000-10,00,000.
- IP lawyer: INR 2,40,000-11,00,000.
- Judge: INR 8,00,000-30,00,000.
- Lecturer: INR 2,92,000-6,10,000.
- Author: INR 2,48,000-8,11,000.
- Journalist: 1,02,000-8,05,000.
Oversea opportunities for IP lawyers
Patent and trademark attorney jobs
Several prominent firms have openings for patent and trademark attorneys, at both the part-time and full-time levels. There are a variety of positions available in London and around the UK, ranging from an ongoing contract post as a Trademark Attorney in London to a specialised Electronic Patent Attorney working from home.
Patent and trademark support roles
Attorneys and lawyers aren’t the only ones working in the patent and trademark legal field. There are numerous high-profile support positions available, ranging from a Patent Records Team Leader earning roughly £55,000 to a Temporary Patent Secretary required for an urgent assignment.
IP solicitor jobs
One of the most exciting jobs available right now is with a London law firm, which is looking for a talented Soft IP Solicitor. Candidates must have three to five years of post-qualification experience (PQE) and be willing to work with high-profile clientele.
Graduate careers in IP
Recent law grads can get jobs in this field, such as this IP Litigation Assistant post with a top company in London. Opportunities like these provide structured training and the opportunity to obtain experience in this particular field of law, making them ideal for a law graduate looking to get started in IP law.
There are different accounting careers available working in IP law, ranging from a Finance Assistant post in Bristol to a Junior Billing Assistant position in London. Some require AAT qualifications depending on the level, while others are suitable for first and second employment.
There are always openings for experienced, qualified, and competent IT personnel, just as there are in any other profession. IT Support Analyst positions are currently available, with excellent chances for someone wishing to advance their IT career in a constantly exciting field.
Copyright breach litigation
A formal lawsuit can be time-consuming and expensive, especially since most copyright infringement cases will require legal aid. As a result, there are numerous work prospects in this industry.
Federal jobs in the IP field
The USPTO is the trusted source for inventors, innovators and IP stakeholders, and a top employer of choice among subject matter experts with a passion for public service.
Patent examiners are highly trained engineers and scientists that work closely with business owners to process patent applications and determine whether or not a patent can be issued.
Trademark examining attorney
Trademark examining attorneys review trademark applications, assess facts and then resolve legal issues that may lead to federal trademark registration.
Business support roles
There is a range of employment available in the business support industry, including openings for a legal administrative assistant, a trainee legal administrator, an office administrator, a junior billing assistant, and entry-level legal secretary positions.
According to the US Department of Labor, the typical yearly compensation for lawyers in all areas is around $120,000. However, according to Payscale, the average yearly salary for IP lawyers is roughly $130,000, while Salary.com shows experienced IP attorneys making much more upwards of $200,000 annually, when bonuses, retirement, and health care are taken into account. All of this is to say that attorney wages vary widely depending on the type of company, professional experience, and locality, with lawyers in urban regions typically earning the most.
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East Asian countries
In Asia, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan, there are a great number of very inventive enterprises. These businesses have made large investments in R&D, frequently in the hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars. They rightly want the best firms to secure their intellectual innovations. In 2017, Asia accounted for more than 65 percent of all patent applications filed worldwide, up from less than half of all patent filings in 2007. Patent filings in China have been the primary driver of this growth. Hence IP lawyers have much room for expanding their professional careers here.
The term Intellectual Property Counsel refers to the law firms or legal advisers who are currently advising or have previously advised, the company or any subsidiary on its intellectual property rights.
Besides the possible exposure to intriguing new advances in science, technology, and other cutting-edge disciplines, working in IP law has other advantages. Intellectual property jobs might be particularly appealing to persons with inquisitive minds. Intellectual property is involved in nanotechnology, self-driving automobiles, biotechnology, space research, drone technology, and a slew of other cutting-edge industries. IP attorneys may deal with global corporations, movie studios, music companies, athletes, or celebrities, or on the cutting edge of interesting technology developments. It’s critical for the person or company who makes investments to keep ownership of the property, even if it’s just a matter of ideas or designs (rather than a tangible product) secured from infringement. That’s where intellectual property lawyers come in. Hence, opportunities are many, proper utilization of the same is all that is required.
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