A graduate certificate in intellectual property law is designed for professionals who wish to narrow their focus in their current profession. Program coursework focuses primarily on protecting original ideas, innovations, and entrepreneurs who are starting their own brands. Professionals who are not lawyers or do not have an interest in practicing law can still find a number of rewarding career options they would be qualified for if they obtain one of these certificates.
Career Opportunities in Intellectual Property Law
|Job Title||Median Salary (2019)*||Job Growth (2018-2028)**|
|Intellectual Property Lawyer||$136,025||6% (for all lawyers)|
|Intellectual Property Paralegal||$67,245||12% (for all paralegals and legal assistants)|
|Intellectual Property Manager||$91,341||7% (for all administrative services managers)|
|Intellectual Property Analyst||$68,772||6% (for all financial analysts)|
Sources: * Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Intellectual Property Lawyer
Intellectual property lawyers work to protect and establish the copyright, patent, and trademark rights of their clients. They might also deal with issues arising around licensing, trade secrets, and digital technology litigation. The work of an IP lawyer parallels that of other lawyers, but they have an in depth understanding of the laws surrounding their client's unique intellectual property. A graduate certificate in intellectual property law could enable a lawyer to specialize in cases and clients looking to protect and defend their unique intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Paralegal
An intellectual property paralegal works alongside an IP lawyer to protect the intellectual property rights of businesses and individuals. Paralegals must have an extensive understanding of intellectual property and the law surrounding it. They might organize exhibits used in litigation, conduct research in IP law, and correspond with clients. Having a graduate certificate in intellectual property could present paralegals with greater opportunities for specialization and provide them with a deeper understanding of the laws surrounding intellectual property.
Intellectual Property Manager
An IP manager is responsible for the supervision of intellectual property created by the employees of a company. They ensure that the intellectual property of an organization is protected and that the company has efficient policies and procedures in place to acquire patents or nondisclosure agreements for any intellectual property generated. Many IP managers have a bachelor's degree in engineering and could obtain a certificate in intellectual property law to support their understanding of and ability to analyze laws surrounding the protection of original content.
Intellectual Property Analyst
Intellectual property analysts focus on the financial aspects of developing intellectual property. They might track expenses involved in an invention's development in addition to any revenue generated by this product. They might also generate valuations of patents, trade secrets, and other IP assets. A graduate certificate program in intellectual property could familiarize a prospective analyst with the processes involved in protecting intellectual property and supplement their business or finance bachelor's degree.
A patent agent is responsible for assisting individuals with the patent application process. Their role is important, as they must help their clients search for already existing innovations and help them develop a rationale for their patent. A patent agent is also responsible for guiding their client through the objections that could be part of their application process. A degree in engineering or science is often required to work as a patent agent, as many of the patents they secure are in those fields. Having a graduate certificate in intellectual property could enable a potential employee to work closely with legal professionals without having to be a lawyer. Patent agents are required to write the patent bar exam, as are patent attorneys.
A graduate certificate in intellectual property law is for students who want to supplement their bachelor's degree training. Professionals who pursue this certificate can strengthen their understanding of intellectual property law as well as acquire greater analytical and problem-solving skills in preparation for careers that can include intellectual property lawyers, patent agent and intellectual property paralegal.