“It’s not coffee. It’s Starbucks.”
“Just Do It”
“It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.”
We have all heard and seen these taglines in multiple advertisements and also in the brand stores. So, what do they have in common? Besides being catchy, relatable, and attractive to the consumer’s eyes, they all are protected by intellectual property rights.
An intellectual property lawyer, when hired, protects you from the infringement of your intellectual properties. Intellectual Property Lawyers make sure that the uniqueness that is reflected in your work is protected by law.
In order to understand what an intellectual property lawyer is, what they do, and how to become an intellectual property lawyer, we must first gather an understanding of what exactly is meant by Intellectual Property Law.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property consists of all creations of the human intellect, in their intangible form. There are a wide variety of intellectual properties. Some countries of the world legally recognize all of them while some do not.
What Do Intellectual Properties Look Like?
Intellectual properties are intangible rights that are owned by a person over their intellectual creations. They can include but are not limited to the following.
Copyright is an exclusive type of intellectual property right enjoyed by the owner. They are provided legally with the right to publish, make copies, distribute the copies, and put them up for display by expressing it in a tangible form, any such literary or artistic work that is the original expression of an idea.
A copyright is usually given for a specific amount of time. However, it is a must that the expression of the idea is absolutely original in order to get a copyright on it. The idea might not be original but the expression has to be.
A patent is a form of intellectual property that allows the owner to legally prohibit others from using or selling products based on their invention. A patent requires one to give a declaration that discloses the details of the invention.
A patent is enjoyed for a limited time period, according to what the registration document requires. Clauses of the TRIPS agreement passed under the World Trade Organization mandate that the citizens of all the member nations be allowed to get patent rights on their inventions.
Trademarks And Service Marks
Trademark is the type of intellectual property that allows for the exclusive use of a particular design, symbol, or pattern by an organization. A trademark can be displayed on the company logo, the products, and services provided by the company, as well as on the company label.
Service marks are the logos made on the service proofs provided by the organizations. Service proof can include receipts and bills.
Yes, you read that right. The trade secrets of your company or organization are protected by intellectual property rights, too.
Any business model, financial plans, sales models, hiring and management strategies, and other schemes of the organization can be protected by means of intellectual property rights.
The owner of the trade secret is protected by intellectual property laws. These laws guarantee that former or current employees do not divulge these secrets to others.
Your intellectual property lawyer will take care of the abovementioned rights and even more. The scope in which an IP Lawyer operates is mostly defined and limited by the laws in force locally, nationally, as well as internationally.
Answering: How To Become An Intellectual Property Lawyer?
Graduating from a reputed law school is definitely a part of the process. However, a person has a few steps to go before and after getting their Juris Doctor degree.
- Like other lawyers, a degree in political science, economics, or American history, will not best serve the interests of a would-be intellectual property lawyer who will deal in patents and trademarks.
- An undergraduate science or engineering degree will make the journey after law school easier.
- For other niches like trademark, copyright, and trade secrets, one might be well served if they acquire an undergraduate degree in any humanities subjects.
- A couple of months of internship after graduating from law school is also considered necessary before you can start working independently as an intellectual property lawyer.
- Participating in debates, moot and mock trials, and in college internship programs also gives one an edge over the competition.
What Are Other Intellectual Property Law Jobs?
One does not just have the option of being a lawyer when studying intellectual property law in law school. They can also opt to go into academia to teach in universities, conduct research as a research fellow, and publish their own work. The corporate world has been pretty welcoming to intellectual property law graduates who can not only represent them in court but also provide necessary consultation.
What Does An Intellectual Property Lawyer Do?
An intellectual Property Lawyer conducts a number of duties and is often not limited to their own role. Intellectual property lawyers do not usually perform dramatic court battles as is often depicted in popular media.
Most of their work is carried out in an office room. They go through technical and analytical details of the author’s or creator’s work and make sure if those are worthy of getting copyright, patent, or trademark.
They mostly draft the necessary documents required to obtain trademarks, patents, and copyrights and make sure that these are passed by the relevant authorities of the US.
An intellectual property lawyer also makes sure that there are no copyright or other infringements in their client’s work. They fight cases in court in case the clients are sued.
Intellectual Property Lawyer Salary
An Intellectual Property Lawyer usually makes around $105,500 a year. The amount may vary with the experience gathered by the particular professional. It also varies with the facts of the case and the size of the client organization.
IP lawyers who are known to ensure huge settlements for their clients in court usually charge a commission on the settlements.
It’s A Legal Wrap!
Intellectual property law is as vast as the ocean. It is often advised that if not a law graduate, the clients should not bother dealing with infringements of IP rights or the acquisition of those all by themselves. It is best to seek help from a registered practitioner.
However, it is always encouraged that one maintain completely honest with their advocates, be it on any matter. Your lawyer should be completely aware of any faults and doubts on your part so that they may be able to come up with good arguments and build a strong case around them!
Do let us know if you found the article informative!
Make sure to let us know of any doubts and questions in the comments below!