- This practice area category focuses on legal work as it relates to copyrights and trademarks.
- Clients can secure copyrights with the US Copyright Office for original creative works such as novels, screenplays, paintings, musical compositions, and other art works. Clients can secure trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office for their company and product trademarks and logos.
Why Do Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
- Attorneys who enjoy this work like dealing with companies and helping them protect their intellectual property.
- This work also typically involves projects that can be turned around fairly quickly.
- This is also a good practice area for young attorneys because they can get up to speed quite quickly on the law and get busy.
- A lot of the work involves cease and desist letters and prosecuting trademark applications, which is not overly complex.
- There are also not a lot of trademark attorneys out there, so they can be marketable when there are openings.
- This practice area supports other practice areas in the firm, and even the largest law firms may only have one or two attorneys dedicated to this work.
- One benefit of this practice area is that there tend to consistently be a few good in-house opportunities around the country at most points in time.
What Are the Difficulties of Being an Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorney?
- This can be a risky practice area because it does not require a ton of training to learn.
- This means that associates typically do not have long shelf lives in most law firms and their value does not increase as they get more senior.
- Law firms tend to cycle through trademark attorneys and then let them go after a few years to hire cheaper ones with lower billing rates.
- This practice area is also very dependent on the economy and is only busy when new businesses are starting and law firms are busy.
- When law firms are slow, they may let the trademark attorneys go and have patent attorneys in the firm (who tend to be more highly regarded) do the work instead.
- This is a difficult practice area to build a career in and very few attorneys do.
How Easy Is It to Move Laterally as an Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorney?
- From a legal recruiting standpoint, there have never been a ton of positions in trademark law.
- At any one time, there are very few across the country at major law firms. This is a very difficult practice area for attorneys to last very long in.
- What is most frightening about this practice area is that in a down economy, or when an attorney loses his or her job (for whatever reason), the attorney may have a next to impossible time finding a position with another law firm.
Learn more about patent attorneys in the following articles:
- Preparing for the Patent Bar
- Intellectual Property Law Practice Areas Explained: The Differences Between Patent Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law, Trade Secret Law and Licensing Law Explained
- Guide to Intellectual Property Law