How to build career in IP?

Intellectual Property provides a deep pool of opportunities for aspirants wishing to forge a career in the field of IP. With diverse range of career options, Intellectual property provides a platform for Science, Engineering and law graduates. A career in IP is challenging. Benefits of working as an IP professional is that, CTC is attractive and also IP professionals are up to date with emerging technologies. A graduate can build a career in IP either by:

1. Taking a post-graduation diploma in IPR

Post-graduation diploma courses are offered by many private and government institutes. Few of the private institutes provide online courses. Some well institutes to enroll for IP are NALSAR, IGNOU, NUJS Kolkata, IGMPI, etc.

2. Taking specialized courses in IPR:

By taking specialized courses in IPR, one can start a career in IP. There are many online courses available to understand the basics of IP. Intellectual coolie helps you to learn basics of IP through our education portal. However, to get specialization in particular IP, one should take offline trainings. There are few private and government institutes which provide such specialized training. One of the best government institute is Rajiv Gandhi institute of IP management, which conducts IPR training programs throughout the year having different modules catering to student’s needs and trends in the IP field.
Intellectual Coolie also offers internship based training programs to invite young aspirants to be a part of the firm. The internship program can either be paid or scholarship based on the candidates performance.

3. Taking one year internship programme through DST-TIFAC Women Scientist Programme:

Department of science and technology launched various schemes for women called women scientist schemes to give women a strong foothold into the scientific profession, help them re-enter into the mainstream and provide a launch pad for further forays into the field of science and technology. One of these schemes is Women Scientist-C (WOS-C) through which women with science background can restart their career in IP. This scheme provide one year in-hand training in IP, which helps greatly to form a career in IP. Also, this scheme is stipend base which helps women to maintain financial stability while building their career in IP.

4. Becoming an IP agent:

An aspirant based on their interest and education qualification can choose an IP and qualify the agent examination conducted by Indian patent office. One can be a:

1. Patent Agent

2. Trademark Agent

3. GI Agent

4. Layout-circuit design Agent.

Apart from the above mentioned options, one can also choose to do a doctorate in IP. An Engineer or a scientist or a science graduate can take up IP as a career and play following roles: Patent Agent, Patent Analyst, Patent Prosecutor or a Patent Examiner at Indian Patent office.

As these roles require technological knowledge acquired during graduation/post-graduation in science, these roles are restricted to aspirants with science backgrounds. However, a graduate from any field can join IP as a career by becoming an agent for different IPRs. For example, a graduate can be: a trademark agent, a Geographical Indication Agent or an Integrated layout-circuit design agent.
One can choose different options, depending upon their interest, educational background, and most importantly based on their strengths. Being a lawyer, an aspirant can be an expert of multiple IPs, however, a lawyer without science background cannot choose a career in Patents. Each of the multiple roles require different strengths. Here are some roles one can play with their required strengths.

1. Drafter:

With respect to patents, an aspirant needs to be sound with the knowledge of science and technology having good writing and communication skills in English to draft a patent specification. A drafter needs to understand the nuances of the invention and strategize to protect the invention. For all other IPs, a good understanding of the respective IP law with good communication skill is sufficient.

2. Filing and prosecution:

To file any kind of IP, an aspirant need to be a qualified agent. A qualified agent for trademark or geographical indications or Integrated circuit designs or plant variety protection can file applications for respective IPs legally. Also, a registered lawyer can file all of these IPs including copyright filing. Owing to the fact that, for filing patents or Industrial design, an aspirant needs to be an Patent agent only, which further emphasize to have a Science background.

3. Teaching, training and spreading awareness:

With good communication skills and interest in teaching, one can also opt a career of teaching in IP. With growing need of IP awareness, government of India individually and in collaboration with various institutes organizes IP awareness programs, an aspirant can be a part of such programs. Also, one can obtain doctoral degrees or Post graduation diploma in IP and get an opportunity to become an IP lecturer or IP trainer at colleges or research institutes. Many university and colleges have IP as a compulsory subject in PhD, these universities need IP experts with required qualifications as per the university standards.

4. Analytics and strategy:

If one have good hold in computer science with a pinch of mathematical skills, can choose to be an IP analyst or strategist. The aspirant need to understand the subject matter, gather information by searching the data on different databases, analyze the data and form a strategy. Since analysis is mostly a part of patent, to understand inventions, one requires a science background. However, large entities do analysis of all their IPs to maintain an IP portfolio and form a competitive strategy.

5. Technology assessment and marketing:

If an aspirant is a technology freak and good in marketing skills, can choose a role of technology assessor who understands the consequences and applications of the technology being protected by a particular company and accordingly form a marketing strategy.

There can be other roles and positions as well. The idea is to make clear that a single individual takes more than one of these roles up in the Indian paradigm because role specialization is rare, unlike the western countries. These roles might narrow down if you end up in an IPR specializing firm, where only specific roles are provided, but if you step into litigation, you clearly have a dynamic and broad field of practice.

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