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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Alternative Careers: Careers in Patent Law

Reaching into the Next Wave electronic vault, we have found a rich collection to complement the articles in this month's feature.

In Next Wave

seven scientists working with patents write about what they do and how it connects to their training as a scientist. Meet a patent examiner, a patent agent, several patent lawyers, and a licensing agent. Read about their work.

What kind of review would this be without a list of patent law resources available on the Web? Read our links on intellectual property and patent law.

Harold Varmus, former director of the National Institutes for Health, talked about ethics and patents in genetics with Next Wave. Read it here.

Sure you think it is a novel idea, something new that others will find very useful. In fact you are certain. Read about how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines "utility".

Not everyone can be a registered patent agent before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Read about the qualifications and the career of agent Elizabeth Dougherty.

Can a postdoc "own" an invention discovered in a university or industrial lab? The issues are complex and bound by legal distinctions.

In Science

Reforming the Patent System

The costs of the intellectual property system in the United States are growing significantly faster than the amount of research. This article proposes three responses: to raise the standards for patentability, to decrease the use of patents to bar research, and to ease legal attack on patents of questionable validity (Science 17 March 2000, p. 1933).

On the Web: Patent Resources From Around the World

There is no question that patent and intellectual property issues are not limited to the U.S. or any single nation. Evidence of this is affirmed by this collection of Web sites.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has a comprehensive patent search service.

The Intellectual Property and Technology Forum, a publication of Boston College, has news articles on IP developments, commentaries, and resources for patent professionals.

The World Intellectual Property Association --an international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland--administers treaties among nations and works to simplify intellectual property rules and practices worldwide.

The Canadian Patent Office is part of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada is an association of professionals who specialize in intellectual property. Their Web site provides basic details of how to become a patent or trademark agent in Canada.

This Industry Canada article provides a comprehensive review of the ins and outs of Canadian patent law. For more specific information on biotechnology patents in Canada, you may wish to read this article from the Life Sciences Legal Resource Centre.

The European Patent Office was established in 1973 to establish a uniform patent system in Europe.

The German Trademark and Patent Office information is in German only.

The United Kingdom Patent Office is responsible for intellectual property (copyright, designs, patents, and trademarks) in the UK. They also have a rolling recruitment programme for patent examiners.

The Chartered Institute of Patent Agents is the professional body for patent attorneys in the UK. Their Web site includes careers information.

Inside Careers contains an extensive section on training and working as a patent attorney in the UK.

The Government-backed home of UK Intellectual Property information brings you answers to your questions and the resources you need to find your way through the IP jungle.

The British Library Science Technology and Business provides useful links on how to search for and use patent information, and how the patent process works.

Source: Science Careers by Ric Weibl

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