Discover the world of IP management

PATHFINDER

Discover the world of IP management

An IP litigator would be required to have knowledge of not only the practice of IP Law but also general civil litigation.

Intellectual Property is a  wide term that covers various forms of intangible assets such as trademarks, copyrights, patent rights, industrial designs, geographical indications, etc. The reason that all these assets are referred to collectively as Intellectual Property is because they are  considered to be distinct  creations of the mind  for which property rights are recognised.

One of the most important trends witnessed over the years has been the increase in the general awareness of IP Law, its concept and importance.

The adoption of the TRIPS Protocol and India’s acceptance of  the WTO Accord have resulted in  a great amount of time, energy and expenditure that businesses devote to IP management.

Along with tremendous growth, there are many challenges that IP professionals face. The industry faces a critical shortage of trained and skilled persons who can perform the tasks of an IP professional.

There is a huge demand, despite the economic slowdown, for IP professionals with a background in law and science.

The introduction of IP in law and science education will encourage young professionals to take up IP Law as a career.

New avenues

IP litigation is one of the most challenging forms of litigation, particularly due to the high stakes involved for businesses. An IP litigator would be required to have knowledge of not only the practice of IP Law but also general civil litigation.  The scope of practice does not remain restricted to legislation concerning IP.

At present, there are close to 6,000 IP professionals, including attorneys and patent agents, working with law firms and corporate houses in India. Industry watchers estimate that Intellectual Property management would create about 25,000 jobs over the next two or three years.

Skill sets & qualification

Individuals with a background in science and law may enter the field. For a person with a sound knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, biotech-nology or electronics, the scope is immense.

An important skill is the ability to grasp innovative scientific technologies and integrate various scientific disciplines while describing an invention.  At present, there are doctors, engineers and scientists, specialising in biotechnology, who work in the field.

While those with a background in science and law can practise trademark, copyright, patent, design or any other matter involving any form of IP Law, legal professionals operate in the areas of IP prosecution, opposition and litigation.

Remuneration

IP Law is one of the most lucrative fields in law. The scope of operations is one of the biggest determinants of remuneration. An attorney with a background in science can expect a salary starting at Rs 30,000 a month, while  others may take home approximately Rs 20,000.

Courses and colleges

A number of institutions have started courses in IP Law. These are typically short-term programmes and specialisation programmes at the post-graduate level.

The IITs (except IIT Kharagpur) have IP awareness programmes as a part of their regular curriculum. 

The National Law School, IGNOU, private law colleges, and private institutes like Symbiosis, Amity Law School, Global Institute of Intellectual Property (GIIP) also offer courses in IP Law.  Online courses are also available such as those offered by WIPO (which are free and cover the basics) and Indian Law Institute (ILI in New Delhi). 

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