Career Opportunities

Today, possession of land, labor and capital are just not enough for a country to succeed. Creativity and innovations are the new drivers of the world economy. Globalization and the rapid proliferation of technology have elevated the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection for all; especially for those businesses wishing to protect their inventions, brands, and business methods in foreign markets.

Broadly speaking, IP is divided into two branches — industrial property and copyright. While industrial property includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs and geographic indication of source, copyright covers literary and artistic works.

As India moves from a developing nation to becoming a pioneer in outsourcing services and a knowledge economy, IP has taken a new place for India’s inventors and growing industries. In recent years, India has moved up the value chain due to its people and industries having gathered a better understanding of IP, which is evident from its burgeoning Biotech, Pharma & IT companies and Government initiatives. India’s Pharma & Biotech companies have challenged some of the largest pharma MNCs of the world and have withstood litigation in various foreign jurisdictions. Also, the Government has shown ingenuity by issuing proclamations to pump crores of rupees to energize its patent offices, science labs and strengthen its talent pool.

There have been a number of changes in the Indian IP Law during the past one decade. India being a WTO/TRIPS signatory, was under International obligation to comply with the standards set by the Treaty and in this direction, made substantive amendments to its Patent Law. Effective January 1, 2005, a transition from a process patent regime to a full-fledged product patent regime took place which has significantly boosted innovation.

Recent trends in the field of IP are encouraging to say the least. Data shows a significant increase in the number of filings in each category of IP, especially in Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks.

According to Mc Kinsey Report, (2007); “By 2015, patented products in India are likely to capture 10% share of Indian market, implying a market size of US $2 BILLION!”. A  recent research indicates that, at present only 3,800 professionals are providing patent related services to US from India; but by December 2015 there is going to be a significant increase in this figure, which would further witness a rise of upto 30,000 by December 2015. The increase in number of patent applications filed at IPO by industry sector, during the last six years has been three folds.

According to Indian Patent Office (IPO), during 2009 – 2010 over 34,000 patent applications were filed at IPO. Out of these Drugs and chemical industry contributed a decent percentage (33%), Computer/Electronics industry recorded (23%), and Mechanical industry (19%). Based on these statistics it can be concluded that Types of industries having a good prospects in IP are Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology, Telecommunication, Chemical, Mechanical, Textile, Automobile, and Heavy Engineering. Career openings in the field of IP can be directly attributed to the growth in certain areas like IP related work outsource from US to India and patents filed by industry sector in a year (both domestic and international).

An IP Professional, is required to perform multitude of tasks and should be well-versed with both scientific and legal concepts (IP related). An IP professional can be conducting patent and prior art searches, which actually involves searching all the patented and non patented literature, filing patents, drafting patent application at the patent office, prosecuting patents at the patent office, litigating at the court, conducting trademark searches, managing IP portfolio etc. patent filing , patent application drafting needs technical skills. Even the Indian Patent office’s notice for qualifying examination for Patent agent states that Candidates having Science/Engineering or Technology degree, interested to appear in the said examinations are requested to make applications to the nearest Patent Office as applicable.

All over the world a few million patents are filed each year. In addition, there is the task of patent maintenance, management, litigation and so on. All this requires highly skilled technical and legal minds, as several tens of billion dollars of business is involved.

There is this ocean of career opportunities in the offing in the field IP. There is no better time than now to embark on a Career in IP and to acquire a formal education in IP…

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