Patent is an intellectual property right

In the post TRIPS situation, education and research would now be shifting towards intellectual property creation in the hubs of science and technology research.

Intellectual property refers to a creation of the mind, like inventions, industrial designs, literary and artistic work etc that are used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided to two categories industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs; and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems, plays etc.

Patent is an intellectual property right relating to inventions and is the grant of exclusive right, for a limited period, provided by the government to the patentee. In this way the patentee can prevent others form making using selling and importing the product. The inventor or any person assigned by the inventor can obtain the patent for his invention. If the inventor does not get the patent rights for his invention, and introduces his product in the market, anyone can copy it or exploit it commercially.

Build your career:

The two broad areas where you can build your career in patents and IPR are Patent agent and Patent examiner.

Patent agents:

Patent agents work in the field of intellectual property. The work is a mixture of legal and scientific / technological work. A patent agent advises inventors and others concerned with inventions, on the validity and infringement of patents. 80 per cent of literature covered in patent documents is never published in scientific or technical journals. So patent literature is a goldmine of information. Sources for patent information are national patent offices, free or charge based patent websites.

Patent agents are science and engineering or allied graduates who have passed the Patent Agent’s examination conducted by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

Patent examiners:

Patent examiners work for the government and also private companies and organizations, and would hold higher degrees in science / engineering / mathematical subjects. Patent examiners assess the applications for patent. They have to check whether the invention is new, not merely an adjustment to something which already exists, by carrying out searches using Indian and foreign patent specifications, technical literature and databases and making sure the application meets the formal requirements of the country’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Specialization in Patent law:

Patent law protects new inventions, process and method of manufacture, and other articles. Those who plan to specialize in patent law should ideally have a very strong background in sciences such as Electronics, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Biotechnology etc. It is not so important to consider whether the law school you pick offers specialization in IPR or patent law. An enormous portion of what you need to know to b a good patent lawyer is learnable on the job, from an experienced practitioner. It is wiser to go to a law school with an excellent overall reputation as employers give your application more weightage and it keeps your options open for practicing in other areas of law too.

Couses for the above are offered by,

1) IIT Kharapur has a three year full time residential LLB program leading to Bachelor of Law with a specialization in IPR, at par with the LLB degree requirements of the Bar Council of India.
2) IGNOU offers a Diploma in IPR, Certificate program in Cyber Law, Patent Practice from July 2009 for law graduates and final year law students (
3) GIIP (Global Institute of Intellectual Property), India (
4) One year Post MSc diploma in Property Rights, Bio safety and Regulatory affairs at the Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Center, Faculty of Science. The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (
5) NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (
6) Institute of Intellectual Property studies, Mumbai (
7) Department of law, University of Mumbai, (
8) National Law School of India University Bangalore (
9) University of Hyderabad