Leaping in Life: Jumping into Patent Law as a Career Field

A person jumping across a void.

Choosing a career is a life defining moment. It requires a lot of thinking and decisiveness to ensure that you’re choosing a profession that is best for you. If you have an itch for the legal industry and are considering jumping into patent law as your career, read this article to find more about what you must do to become a patent lawyer.

Attain a Degree in Science or Engineering

In order to be eligible for a patent law license, you must have a degree in a science or an engineering program.

Your accredited degree can be in any one of the following common science and engineering programs:

  • Biochemistry, Biology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology or Botany
  • Computer Science, Electronics Technology, Marine Technology, Textile Technology or Food Technology
  • General Chemistry Organic Chemistry
  • Physics or Engineering Physics
  • Engineering (including general, agricultural, aeronautical, biomedical, civil, ceramic, chemical, computer, electrical, electrochemical, geological, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, mining, nuclear, petroleum etc.)

If you do not already have a degree in a science or engineering program, you may pass the FE test (Fundamentals of Engineering). It is very common for people from other professions and fields to want to choose a different profession in the later stages of their lives and patent law is a popular choice among them. They sit for the FE exam to become eligible for the patent law registration.

Sit for the Patent Bar Exam

Once you have met the science or engineering requirements, you will need to sit for and pass the patent bar exam.

With patent law you can become a registered patent agent by passing this exam. If you have completed a law degree and are in good standing upon passing the exam, you will become a registered patent attorney.

Since having a law degree is not one of the requirements to sit for the patent bar exam, you may go to law school before or after taking the exam. Again, many people never go to law school and become patent agents while others do spend the time and money in law school to become patent attorneys. You can choose to complete law school before or after taking the patent bar exam and there are good reasons for going about it either way.