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IP Law

Self-assessment: are you ready for a career in IP law?

Reading sections and case laws will not make you ready for a career in IP law.

However, here are 30 skills that came on top of the list when we interviewed around 100 IP lawyers from India, asking them what are the tasks that are high margin and appear frequently on their desks. 

If you know even 50% of these skills, you can impress your bosses in any internship, and easily crack any entry-level job interview at an IP law firm, or media/ tech company in-house team. 

These skills are highly valuable, sought after, and most IP lawyers take years to learn them because they are learning in an unstructured environment through a non-systematic approach. However, at LawSikho, we train you in these skills rapidly and steadily, within a few months, so that you can stand out at any workplace, and grow fast in your career.

Chances are that you may already know a few of these skills. Maybe from a previous internship or a job. Maybe you are a very keen learner and have taught yourself some of these skills!

Let’s find out. 

This is a self assessment. See how confident you feel about these tasks. Nobody will come to check if you are right or wrong, but you can assess on your own where you stand.

Also, these are questions that may very well be asked to you if you are appearing in any IP law related job interview. So if you do not know, you better prepare yourself if you are interested in a job in IP law.

  1. Can you draft IP infringement notices, for trademark, copyright and patent infringement? According to you, what are the 3 most important aspects of a well drafted infringement notice that you must not get wrong?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  2. There is a website that is putting up pirated content the copyright of which belongs to your client, but it is hosted in a country where enforcing IP is very hard. Do you know what steps to take in order to safeguard the copyright interests of your client even if you cannot get that foreign website to take down that content?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  3. Your client’s trademark is being infringed by a reseller on Google ads and amazon. What steps will you take to ensure immediate stoppage of such infringement?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  4. You applied for a trademark, and the concerned officer has responded with an objection that this mark is descriptive and generic and cannot be registered. What are your options? Hoe will you respond to this objection?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  5. Your client’s competitor applied for a trademark, and your client wants to object to the same as he feels that this new trademark is too similar or confusingly similar to his own trademark. The trademark sought to be registered is Beaucoup.com in Class 25, which covers clothing, headgear and footwear whereas your client already owns Bewakoof in Class 25 and sells t-shirts. What steps will you take at this point?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  6. A media streaming company is buying an publication house, as along with the publication house they will get access to many amazing stories that they can thereafter convert into audio-visual content. You have been asked to do a IP due diligence. Tell me 5 red flags you will look out for.
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  7. Do you know how to respond to notices by copyright societies, enter into proper arrangements with appropriate copyright societies and deal with lawsuits by copyright societies, which can be quite frequent?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  8. Can you advise software companies on IP protection? Is it possible to protect a software through patents? In India or anywhere else? If not patent, can it be protected through copyright? Does it make sense to protect copyright of a software by registering the same?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  9. How will you calculate the damages arising out of an IP infringement? Let’s say that an e-commerce company Beaucoup.com has been selling t-shirts with images of characters from famous Netflix series Money Heist. Ten thousand t-shirts were sold at Rs. 500 each. However, the person with actual rights to do this may have lost a lot of money too, as he was not able to sell official t-shirts that were priced at INR 1500. How much damages are to be recovered from Beaucoup.com?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  10. Can you remove cybersquatters? It turns out that your client owns the trademark Bewakoof in class 25 since last 2 years but someone has been squatting on the bewakoof.com domain for last 5 years. Can we now get that person to handover the domain name to us as we own the trademark?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  11. Someone is selling Bewakoof branded tshirts and footwear in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in China, at a very cheap price. Indian customers are ordering the same online and receiving parcels at their home. This is a violation of the trademark. How will you help your client and stop such imports?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  12. How can you register sound trademarks, as voice commerce becomes mainstream? Also, how to register other unusual trademarks such as catchphrases, store designs etc?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  13. Can you structure and negotiate franchisee deals? Can your draft franchisee agreements?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  14. Can you prepare a patent application, draft patent claims or provisional patent applications, and amend a patent application?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  15. Can you conduct prior art searches and prepare freedom-to-operate and patent landscape reports?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  16. Can you draft a patent, copyright or trademark licensing agreement? How about a cross-licensing agreement between two technology companies?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  17. Can you draft and negotiate a merchandizing or brand ambassador contract?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  18. Can you draft, file or argue a passing off suit?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  19. Can you prevent abuse and misuse of trademark by comeptitors, such as in a comparative advertisements or disparaging social media posts or fake reviews?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  20. Can you help the marketing team of a business by vetting advertisements and marketing content for legal compliance? Can you vet content for a media company to avoid litigation or legal actions?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  21. Can you draft and implement contracts to protect trade secret?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  22. Can you draft and argue applications for ex-parte temporary injunctions?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  23. Can you effectively respond to patent and trademark trolls and wear them down through legal strategy?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  24. How to navigate the PCT system for filing international patents and how to get international trademarks through the Madrid Protocol.
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  25. Can you research and effectively map the patent strategy of competitors? Can you advice your company on how to develop an offensive and defensive patent portfolio?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea
    3. I have no clue about this.
  26. Can you draft media and entertainment contracts that deal with IP, such as co-production agreement, agreement with directors, actors and performers, music sync license, model releases, photo releases, location releases etc?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  27. Can you draft complex royalty sharing and input sharing agreements? Royalty sharing can be contingent on the performance of a party or overall commercial success of a venture. Many of these agreements can look like complex JV agreements which are more temporal in nature, but serious money can ride of these agreements, which makes them too important to draft and negotiate loosely.
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  28. Can you draft effective IP protection and assignment agreements in employment and consultancy agreements?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  29. Can you do trademark or patent prosecution work with respect to USPTO or EUIPO?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.
  30. Conducting IP raids to catch and confiscate gray market and counterfeit goods – can you coordinate with local law enforcement and courts for necessary sanctions, permissions and effective raids?
    1. I am very confident about doing this work.
    2. I have some basic idea.
    3. I have no clue about this.

How to calculate your score:

Give yourself 10 points for everytime you marked a, 2 points for b and 1 for c.

How to interpret the score:

Did you score between 181-300?

You are already rocking it. You have already learned plenty of valuable IP skills. You may still have some gaps, and surely you understand the value of filling up those gaps given that you have learned so much already! 

Did you score between 101-180?

Great, you have got a start, but you are still a long way from a highly valued asset. You know a few things well, but way too many things are slipping through the crack. 6 months of consistent effort to learn the skills that are missing from your arsenal can change your fortune.

Did you score between 30-100?

Are you sure you are interested in IP? If you are, you have a long distance to travel. Since you have taken the trouble to take this quiz all the way, I am sure you have some interest. However, it is time to convert that interest into some actual work so you can make progress. 

How can I learn these skills?

Join us for a workshop on 28th Novemeber, 6-9 pm. It is free of cost. We will talk a lot about how to develop these highly valuable skills that have a global demand. 

Also check out our IP law and prosecution course that we have launched in collaboration with School of Law, Texas A&M University, that can get you a headstart in the right direction.

So, will I see you at the workshop?

If you want to get latest IP related career insights like this, join our IP Career community (exclusive whatsapp group)

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