Halsne Law, PLLC Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, & Other Intellectual Property Matters

Life of a Patent Lawyer

Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Somebody recently offered me a free lunch to tell them about my life as a patent attorney. It got me to thinking.

I entered the patent field right after MBA school. Then, “Barriers to Entry” were a big deal in the competitive world. High barriers mean that potential competitors have a tough time eating into your business. The result is that you keep more of your profits.

Patents and other IP rights seemed to me to be the most effective barrier to entry. Especially for young companies seeking a toehold in the world of tech. So that’s where I headed when the opportunity arose.

I am astounded at how that theory of IP protection plays out today. Mega-companies and startups alike consistently invest their precious capital into developing patent portfolios. The resulting patents are used to attract investment. Or to generate licensing income. Sometimes they are used as a shield to defend against the competitors own patents. Recently, patent portfolios have been wielded to wall off technologies for exclusive use. Nearly every week there is a new development in the patent wars.

My role in this world is in developing the IP portfolio for my clients. Every day I spend some time writing a patent application, trying to describe a new invention to the world. Or I am preparing a response to a Patent Office Action. Or I am working with inventors to figure out the value of their new ideas. The work is complicated. Sometimes it is painfully mundane. But it is always challenging.