Of late, intellectual property or IP as career option has been catching the fancy of many technocrats, be it from the field of engineering or life sciences. Few years back, the scenario was not so similar as the entire concept of Intellectual property was not actually acknowledged as it should have been.
With the growing demand for protection of each and every new technology reaching in the market and ever existing threat from the competitors, a dig into the field of IP had become inevitable. Slowly people have started opting for IP as a career option to keep themselves updated and protected. Professionals like patent analysts and patent agents help to serve the inventors as well as the organizations in spotting the invention by doing patent search and finally getting it drafted properly and working out all sorts of formalities to file for a patent. It goes without saying that once a patent is granted, after a grueling process of examination, the inventor’s joy knows no boundaries because of the recognition and exclusive benefits he derives from it.
Domain experts, mainly from science or engineering stream are eligible to write the Patent Agent Exam conducted by Indian Patent Office every year. Apart from that, freshers from science/engineering may enhance their profile by learning patent search skills before looking for their first job. We would be coming shortly with more grey areas of IP that could be used by people as another career option.
I honestly never believed I will be playing a role in IP in our organization. It happened by accident because of my friend who excited me with the complex world and possibilities in IPR.
I have been exploring IPR for the past few years and currently supporting technical teams in filing patents in my organization. It has been thrilling so far to observe first hand how technical and product management teams conceive inventions and even more so when the realization dawns among us that one of such an invention possibly is novel and involved inventive step, then doing a prior art analysis for patentability, highlighting the distinction and eventually filing it. The process in itself can be an interesting experience as it’s fairly technical as much as legal. Of course the real kick begins when the FER starts coming through and the joy will know no bounds when we convince the Examiner that our invention is non-obvious and involves an inventive step and gets the patent awarded, the more longer and agonizing the Examination ping pongs the sweeter it is, when we get the patent awarded!
If one observes the current trend, Innovation has caught up big time, almost everyone talks about Innovation in some form ranging from Jugaad to systematic innovation. And at this juncture the importance of protecting one’s IP becomes very critical to maintain their competitiveness in the market. So the awareness and hence the demand is continuously growing but the supply (enough knowledge capital – IPR specialists) is yet to catch up with the demand. To sum up one can say ‘the timing is just right’.
IP is a good career option for those who want to try something different and can be extremely rewarding for those who are ready to dig deep.
Generally, IP related activities are handled by technocrats in-house at the premises of Indian entities that comprise of CSIR, DRDO, Space, Atomic Energy, IITs, Universities, MSMEs, R&D Centers of PSUs such as IOCL, BHEL, Railways, SAIL, NTPC, NHPC, etc. Lots of collaborative work is done between themselves as well as with international entities. The combined filing by Indian entities constitutes nearly 15-10% of total Indian filings. Professionals such as patent agents, trade mark agents can be very helpful at their premises to help their inventors as well as the organization in spotting the inventions, looking into the invention disclosures that the inventors create for their patentability assessments, keeping a watch on the infringements by competitors and licensees, sensitizing them regarding potential infringements during their product launch and technology transfer agreements. Besides, such professionals can look into the quality of deliverables from different IP firms.
Such IP professionals can also work with innovation companies such as Crafitti that is engaged in sensitizing the Indian entities about enhancing the pace of creating invention disclosures. It may be appreciated that Govt. of India has already announced Science, Technology & Innovation Policy at Indian Science Congress 2013 at Kolkata thereby catalyzing the path of innovation in the years to come.
Intellectual Property(IP) is an intangible property of mind. This property can be utilised to create intellectual assets. As the awareness and utilisation of IP is less in India when compared to countries like USA and UK , there is a need to introduce IP courses at graduate and post graduate levels.
Further specialised courses on IP to science, engineering & law graduates enable them to get better career opportunities. The career in IP is really challenging and a good option, since the the pay packages are attractive and in par with IT professionals. The nature of work is different from other routine legal or engineering jobs, as the new assignments are unique and different.
Some of the main advantages of IP career are:
Hence, Taking up IP as a career is the best option in the present scenario of India, as India requires skilled IP professionals to boost R&D and economic progress using IP Knowledge -base of youngsters.