Myth #1: Patent agent exam is for lawyers and completely law based
According to the Government of India, minimum qualification to appear in the patent agent exam is – “Any Science Graduation”. There is no mention of any Law graduation or legal knowledge. This clearly indicates that patent agent is supposed to be a person with technical knowhow, which is good as patent are actually protection of “Technological Inventions”.
Do you have to study law? Yes, a little but, The Patent Act 1970 to be exact.
But law is tough. How will I study? No, this law revolves around technology and inventions. It revolves around – what is invention? What are you rights as an inventor? How to protect invention? And what can be done if somebody steals your invention etc. So it is actually very interesting for every science person and not difficult.
Myth #2: I will be changing my field?
No. If you notice closely, government only conducts the patent agent exam while there is no institute / college / university recognized by government to impart education on patent agent. This is a professional certification for government, to increase your avenues and not to divert you from your main stream.
What it means is, after becoming a registered patent agent:
- You can be in the field you are presently in, use the new knowledge in research, file patents for your own inventions or inventions of other people of any field and not just your field and be a more knowledgeable and responsible researcher / professional.
- If you want you can join any organization in RnD (in your field or if you wish any other field) in the IP department. Yes every good RnD department of organization has an IP cell now a days.
- If you wish you can join a Law firm (you will still not need a law degree, you are a registered patent agent remember? That’s big)
- You can also start your own consultancy firm and give consultation to other people / researchers etc in need of IP and Patent help.
Myth #3: Patent Attorney is a higher post than Patent agent and it is better to become a patent attorney directly
Patent Agent and Patent Attorney are different people and they have different job. No one is above the other. See below the scope of jobs.
Myth #4: My science knowledge will not be utilized
Again, minimum and compulsory qualification for even appear in the Patent Agent Exam in – Science Graduation, science knowledge is needed and will always be utilized in patent works. Also as seen in the above myth (#3) there is a list of things a Patent Agent is responsible for and they are not possible without any science knowledge.
Myth #5: I cannot be a patent agent because I m already doing a job
Patent Agent is a government professional certification; you get a certificate from the government and a registered patent agent number after clearing the exam. There is no need for you to leave your job or college.