Some of the highest-paid paralegals in the industry are the so-called patent paralegals who are paid with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $90,000 on an annual basis, excluding perks and privileges. Obviously, patent paralegals are involved with the laws, rules and regulations involving intellectual property (IP) rights.
You may be wondering what IP is all about. Generally speaking, IP refers to the legal monopolies of artistic and commercial creations of the mind in which the owner of said monopoly is granted exclusive rights to the economic and social benefits derived from their works. Common IP types include trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets and industrial design rights.
Thus, the intellectual property jobs of the patent paralegal involve many aspects of said IP rights. The functions include but are not limited to the following:
- Provision of assistance to lawyers, agents and legal analysts in the preparation and submission of patent documents with the Patent and Trademark Office in the United States and with other concerned agencies around the world.
- Research of laws regarding intellectual property rights in the country and in other affected jurisdictions, which can involve going through copyright precedents.
- Interview witnesses and other concerned people in relation to a patent case.
- File legal documents as necessary.
Indeed, as a patent paralegal, you are a very important part of the legal team. Your groundwork will often serve as the foundation upon which the patent case or application can proceed in a successful manner.
Getting the Job
Now that you have been persuaded into taking on intellectual property jobs by becoming a patent paralegal, the next logical step is to start your search for a position in this line. However, before you can compete in the job market for said intellectual property position, it is preferred that appropriate education be acquired. This way, you have an edge over all the other applicants and more likely get the job.
Although it is not a requirement, you are well advised to enroll in an American Bar Association accredited school with a valid paralegal program. You can visit their official website for a list of said schools in your area. Of course, community colleges are also great sites for paralegal education, the tuition of which are also more affordable.
The program itself can take 2 years to complete, with a certification provided upon graduation. Of course, the certification itself may not be sufficient to land the job since many employers still prefer experienced applicants in the paralegal field.
Fortunately, you can become an intern or apprentice even while you are still studying in the program. Your school should be able to connect you with the legal companies offering internship programs for those willing to acquire experience either without a salary or just on an allowance. And if you choose your school and internship company well, you may even be offered a job after graduation.
You can profit from being well-versed in intellectual property laws. Just make sure to get the education and experience to maximize your potential as a paralegal.