A career in patent law is a unique, profitable, and often overlooked niche for individuals who already possess a good understanding of science, and have a desire to advance their career
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) February 13, 2013
Wysebridge Patent Bar Review, a company that helps individuals with science and technology backgrounds, says the shifting global markets and impact on the USA patent and intellectual landscape is but one sign of changes in these sectors of the workplace. In general, USA has seen a stagnation in science and technology. One such indication of this is the issuance of patents: Once the leader in filing patents, Americans were awarded less patents last year (2012) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) than their foreign counterparts (non americans). This is the first record of such a shift. On top of this, other countries such as China and South Korea now outrank americans in numbers of graduate students in science and technology at USA universities, which is but a bi-product of an all but flat-lined trend of science and math scores in primary schools over the past 2 decades in the US.
Thus, the future of science in the U.S. is uncertain. While still boasting some of the best schools, hospitals, and research firms, there are a number of other factors that are pose immediate threats to further advancement. One of those factors, and perhaps the biggest, is money. In 2013, the White House increased the U.S. budget for research by 1.4%. Any increase is an increase right? But this apparent "increase" is already below the rate of inflation (currently around 2.5%). But perhaps more immediate is the repercussions from and of the Fiscal Cliff. Reverberations surrounding proposed budget cuts are still manifesting, as the instability is forcing companies, schools, lenders, to hold a little more tightly to their money. Perhaps more telling (and more staggering) is the almost fatal shrinking in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget. In just 10 years, one single decade, the NIH will have shrunk, in terms of it's public funding, by 41%.
Alan Leshner, the director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), had this to say about the shrinking field of science and research in the US. "This will have a devastating effect on American science." A report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) this past September indicated that such decreases in funding could result in the American GDP being at least $203 billion smaller, with an 8% decrease in scientific publications, and a 3% decrease in patents, all by 2021.
However, one vocational aspect of science and technology that is often overlooked, and so far seems to be weathering the troubles, is the intellectual property market, and specifically patents and patent litigation. Patents guarantee innovators “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” their invention in the USA. In 2010 alone, the United States Patent and Trademark Office received 520,277 applications and granted 244,341 patents. While sure, the numbers of patents granted to americans is less than foreigners, the simple fact remains: Someone has to prepare, file, and represent those patents, and despite a continued steady growth in patent agent and attorney salaries over the previous 2 decades, few science and engineering students 1) know of this option to become a patent agent or 2) attend law school, allowing them to potentially become a patent attorney/lawyer. Which is interesting, because patent law is a vocational direction that is often overlooked by the brightest and highly qualified candidates: Scientists, engineers, and those with backgrounds in technology.
Take a quick look at some of the major headlines, and it quickly becomes apparent that patents are now more important than ever in both the American, and global, economy. Ever heard of Google? They purchased Motorola Mobility for over $12 billion dollars, mostly because through this purchase Google obtained a portfolio of more than 17,000 patents. 17,000 patents. Lots of money was exchanged for "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” that invention.
If this isn't enough to convince of the growing market in intellectual property and patents, Google itself has launched a "Google Patents" search, which allows users to search through and read the patents submitted to either the United States or European patent offices. This is similar to another nifty resource (Prior Art Finder), which allows users to find documents related to specific patent applications or awards.
So, in summary, in the midst of uncertainty, especially within the science and research realms, a career in patent law is a unique, profitable, and often overlooked niche for individuals who already possess a good understanding of science, and have a desire to both advance their career and help others through the process, by translating their knowledge into practice and action.
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About Wysebridge Patent Bar Review
Wysebridge Patent Bar Review is an information and educational company formed in 2012 dedicated to assisting individuals study for and pass the patent bar exam.