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America Invents Act spurs demand for patent lawyers

Law firms seek specialized attorneys to tackle complex new law

When President Obama signed the America Invents Act on Sept. 16, essentially overhauling the U.S. patent system, lawyers knew big changes were on the horizon.

As the historic legislation takes effect over the next year and a half, many law firms have stepped up their recruitment efforts to nab talented patent attorneys who can interpret the complex new law and its procedures.

According to Bloomberg, more than 15 percent of law firm job openings are for patent attorneys, though they account for a mere 3 percent of all lawyers in the U.S. With such a small talent pool of IP experts available, law firms are reportedly doubling recruitment fees in order to acquire the best lawyers.

T.J. Duane, a principal at the legal recruitment firm Lateral Link, told Bloomberg that the most highly sought lawyers have degrees from top 10 law schools in electrical engineering, computer science and computer engineering, and at least four years of experience working at a top law firm.

With these skills, lawyers can address companies’ increased needs to interpret not only the patent reform law, but also ever-changing telecommunications, Internet and software developments. 

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