dcsimg

Career Story: Patent Attorney And University Professor

Patent Attorney And University Professor

Job Title: Patent Attorney And Adjunct Professor

Type of Company: I am Of Counsel to a small law firm specializing in intellectual property, and I teach year-round at a university.

Education: A.B., History & Science, Harvard College •• M.S., Oceanography, UCLA •• Ph.D., History of Science, Harvard University •• J.D., Rutgers University

Previous Experience: I started as a naval officer in destroyers. I then went to graduate school, first in oceanography, then in the history of science. After a number of years teaching and researching, including a term as Graduate Dean, I became Historian of the U. S. Geological Survey. When that job was abolished, I went to law school, teaching part-time. After law school I became a patent attorney, first in private practice and then as patent attorney for a federal government laboratory. When I retired from the government, I resumed private law practice. I also teach as an adjunct professor at a university.

Job Tasks: I meet, or communicate by telephone, letter, or email, with private clients who have made inventions for which they want patent protection or who want a federal trademark for the unique way they name, describe, or illustrate their businesses. When they let me know what they want, I research similar things and advise them about what they need to do. If they ask me, I apply in their name for a U. S. or foreign patent or trademark. Then I work with government officials, mostly on paper, to improve the applications to make them eligible for the grant of rights. A patent provides a monopoly for 20 years from the first application. A trademark can last forever if it's in use, but it has to be renewed every so often. I also teach at a university: introductory law to undergraduates studying engineering and computer science and the history of science and technology to anyone. The latter I teach online, so the students can be anywhere in the world.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts are getting government-approved rights for clients and seeing students learn something. The worst parts are the nit-picking by patent and trademark examiners as they process the applications and the failure of those students who don't learn or don't do the work.

Job Tips: To become a patent attorney, you have to study engineering or science. But the most important thing to learn is how to write clearly and concisely. That's not a skill most engineers or scientists acquire, but it's essential to a patent attorney. In a patent application, you should never vary your language as you would in ordinary writing. For a university teacher, the most important thing is to present your subject, whatever it may be, as the most important thing in the world, far more important than you know it to be in your heart.

Popular Schools offering Law School Programs

 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Fresno

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Clovis

Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Founded in 1887, Benedictine University is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students. Benedictine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Regis is a regionally accredited, 130-year-old Jesuit university in Denver, Colorado. Inspired by the vision of St. Ignatius Loyola, we are dedicated to the pursuit of learning and truth in an effort to make positive change in our communities as well as ourselves.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

Selected Campus Locations:
  • Online

Additional Career Stories for Lawyers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Lawyers, including:

Back to Top