Legal Jobs in Intellectual Property for Trainee Solicitors

This article is written for law students and trainee solicitors searching for specialized legal jobs, to give you a flavor for intellectual property law. It will try to give you a very general insight into an exciting and demanding area of law, and the employment prospects and legal jobs within this sector.

Intellectual property law covers the full range of technology and the arts, from records to computer software. Intellectual property law is the area of the law that includes patent law, copyright law and trademark law, together with some aspects of other branches of the law, such as licensing and unfair competition.

Recent times have witnessed an explosion in the field of intellectual property and solicitor jobs in this area. Even when other markets for the services of legal practices are affected by recession, the demand for intellectual property solicitor jobs typically remains high. As long as people invent or create, there is a need for intellectual property lawyers to protect and enforce intellectual property rights.

There are certain areas of the country which have a higher concentration of firms working within Intellectual Property. Any area with a high volume of technology firms or companies in the pharmaceutical sector tends to have legal practices supporting the IP function.

The Thames valley area around Oxford and Reading, Cambridge and London are all hot beds for Intellectual Property law. The practice is a people-oriented profession. The solicitor works with a wide range of clients, from small-business owners to top management officials of large corporations.

For many businesses, obtaining intellectual property protection is a critical step in an integrated business activity. The timing of the grant of protection affects a company’s marketing, sales, personnel practices, and research and development efforts. The process of obtaining protection brings the solicitor into close working contact with professionals in many business areas.

Intellectual property law provides a unique opportunity to utilize a degree or prior professional experience with the practice of law. In fact those individuals combining a background within medicine, chemistry or technology with the law are highly sought after.

Many companies hire intellectual property lawyers as in-house counsel. These lawyers develop an expertise in the technology of their corporations, and are often closely involved in business decisions relating to the protection of intellectual property and other related matters. This can provide the solicitor with a greater feeling of contribution to the business and greater satisfaction in watching their function have an effect on its overall success.

Many legal firms throughout the United Kingdom have become niche specialists in intellectual property law. Also large general practice firms will tend to have law departments. Working within Private Practice will often give a Solicitor a wider variety of work and this can be both contentious and non-contentious in nature.

The overall workload can be greater in private practice and billing targets have to be met so this route can be quite demanding.

There are a number of different paths open to intellectual property solicitors and allows each person to choose a practice best suited to that person’s overall objectives.

Claim Chart – An Useful Patent Tool

Claims form the most important part of a patent as the rights of a patentee reside in them.

Should a person utilize an invention, without the permission of the patentee, he may infringe that patent. The issue of infringement is country specific, that is to say, the technology (device or process) as in the invention of the patent should not be utilized without the permission of the patentee, in that particular country where the patent exists.

The infringement test differs from country to country, but, in general, infringement is said to have occurred when the infringer’s product (device, process, service, etc) falls within one or more of the claims of the granted patent. This requires “reading” a claim onto the technology of interest (‘accused product’). If all of the claim’s elements are found in the ‘accused product’, the claim is said to “read on” the technology; if a single element from the claim is missing from the ‘accused product’, the claim does not literally read on the technology and the ‘accused product’ does not infringe the patent with respect to that claim.

An useful patent tool in this context is the ‘Claim Chart’.

Basically, the claim chart is a two-column table, where the left side column contains the claims (broken down into component elements) and the right side column contains ‘Yes’/ ‘No’. The procedure includes splitting each of the independent claims into component elements and each element then is compared with the ‘accused product’. ‘Yes’/ ‘No’ indicates if the element referenced on the left side is available/ contained or not within the ‘accused product’. A single ‘No’ in this comparison chart can bail out the product from accusation of infringement with respect to the claim that is compared.

One of the many reasons for rejection of a patent before grant or for invalidation of the patent after grant is ‘Non-enablement’. A patent claim must be properly described in the patent specification which is called ‘enablement’. As such, in claim charting, the claim components are referenced with the text in the patent specification and then compared for in the ‘accused product’.

6 Points That Show the Importance of Trademarks For Your Business

In case you don’t know, trademarks are quite common these days. In fact, everyone has to deal with them on a regular basis. In fact, “Trademark” is a popular term for brands. This term has a great impact on the buying decisions of people. So, it’s important for every business to understand the importance of it for faster growth. Given below are 6 points that shed some light on the importance of trademarks. Read on to know more.

Messages

As far as communication goes, trademarks are important. In the form of a logo or brand, they can send emotional and intellectual messages about a business or company.

It doesn’t have to be a word. Irrespective of the alphabet or language, designs have their own importance that can’t be denied no matter what.

Ease of Identification

With the help of your company logo or brand name, customers can find you more easily. Since there are a lot of competitors out there, it will be hard for you to set yourself apart from the crowd. If you want to capture the attention of your target customers, having a brand name and logo is a must these days.

Customers can recognize you at a glance if you have a unique, catchy logo or brand name.

Effective use of Social Media

With trademarks, businesses can make use of social media in an effective manner. The reason is that people use your brand name when looking for your products on the Internet and social media sites.

If you have a lot of traffic on social media sites, you can enjoy better ranking on search engines. As a result, you will get a lot of customers.

Valuable Assets

Your brand name is your asset. With the passage of time, the value of your trademark goes up. It depends upon the reputation of your business. Actually, your logo or brand name offers a lot more value than your actual business.

As a matter of fact, you can sell your brand name or logo just like the real estate. You can also use it as a security in order to obtain a loan to further expand your business.

Easy Hiring

Brands create positive feelings in the minds of people. As a result, candidates find the company more attractive. Moreover, the employee retention rate goes up provided employees have a positive opinion about your brand.

No Expiry Date

Unlike domain names, trademarks don’t expire. As long as you keep using the name or logo, it will be yours. Once you have registered a name for your business, no one can use that name. And it will remain yours as long you stay in business.

In short, your brand name is your recognition. If you fail to do your homework prior to adopting a name, you will regret later on. So, you may want to spend some time and money to determine the best name and logo. This will help you avoid costs of litigation and disputes in the future.