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Cornell University


Friday, January 26, 2018
Patent Law Review panel takeaways

ASAP, GSPAFC and the BEST Program co-hosted the Patent Law Review Panel on January 19 and invited five STEM scientists who shared their experiences and how they transitioned into patent law. There were 44 participants from across 19 departments and units across campus who attended the panel discussion. Individual conversations with the speakers continued over lunch. Each of the panelists has agreed to become a BEST mentor to field questions from PhDs and postdocs throughout the year who develop an interest in a career involving intellectual property. Following the session, panelists shared additional information about relevant events and organizations with the audience after the session. 

See recordings of this event:

Welcoming, panelists brief career stories and introduction 
Natalie Galley's story, what Intellectual Property/Patent law is, how you start and what you do in this field
A day in the life, and skills needed
Advice on what to do

The event feedback was very positive, and this is a sample of participants' takeaways when asked what the most important thing they learned from the event:

"I previously had only heard about patent lawyers from the perspective of lawyers at law firms. It was very interesting to learn about the difference between being a patent lawyer at a firm versus a patent lawyer for a company." (Biomedical Engineering)

"Panelists discussed ways to make yourself stand out as a candidate for a tech spec/agent/lawyer position, e.g. working in the TLO, taking a patent class, or doing an internship in the IP department of a company." (Biomedical Engineering)

"Job seeking tips for PhD students." (Biophysics)

"I acquired a better understanding of the topic." (Computer Science)

"I learned that patent lawyers for a firm are different from those for a company.  I also learned about the work/life balance culture of IP lawyers."

"Skills needed to succeed in this career." (Immunology and Infectious Disease)

"This panel showed that one can enter a career in patent law/IP from a variety of backgrounds." (Chemistry and Chemical Biology)

"Go into a job with open eyes. Try it out while you're still in grad school instead of going headlong into a career without knowledge of what it entails." (Education)

"PhD students can be invested in by companies." (Food Science and Technology)

The panelists were moderated by BEST Advisory Board Member and PhD student in Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Sabrina Solouki. They have a variety of jobs in and outside of academia, as seen from their profile links below.

Oskar LiivakCornell Intellectual Property Professor
PhD'00, Cornell Physics, JD Yale

Raymond Parker III, Senior Patent Counsel at Johnson Matthey
PhD in Chemistry, JD NYU

Roshni GhoshPatent Agent at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

PhD in Developmental Genetics, JD Fordham 

Ulysses Williams III, Junior Intellectual Property Attorney at IBM
JD Howard University.

Natalie Galley, Associate at Fish & Richardson PC

PhD'11, Cornell Mechanical Engineering, JD Harvard Law School.