Generally, intellectual property jobs require legal knowledge of local and international laws that enforce protection of intellectual property. Intellectual property jobs typically consist of attorneys and paralegals that are responsible for securing copyright, patent, and trademark protection. These positions may also counsel individuals or corporations on the validity of classifying a particular work as intellectual property. Most intellectual property jobs work to ensure legal compliance with intellectual property laws. Intellectual property attorneys may take legal action against suspected violations of intellectual property laws.
The creation of intangible assets such as inventions, artwork, and books that originated from the creator’s mind is typically identified as intellectual property. While the distinction of the intangible assets is clear, understanding which law protects the asset might be confusing for the average citizen. A legal team of intellectual property experts may provide guidance in classifying the distinction between copyright, patent and trademark protection.
The legal team of intellectual property jobs often includes an attorney and a paralegal. The attorney is typically responsible for providing legal counsel and representation to clients. The paralegal assists the attorney with most administrative functions related to an intellectual property case.
Most intellectual property attorneys may advise clients on the legality of securing intellectual property protection. Attorneys may interpret intellectual property laws by explaining the proper classification of the assets. Usually, the intellectual property attorney may also advise clients in filing legal documents to secure intellectual property protection.
Providing legal representation in court is another duty for intellectual property attorneys. Intellectual property attorneys may litigate cases when an infringement — the unauthorized use of an asset legally recognized as belonging to another — on a patent or trademark protection occurs. These cases may occur locally or internationally, depending on the intellectual property laws related to the case.
The intellectual property jobs of paralegals generally include completing the administrative work of litigation without providing legal advice to clients. Paralegals generally serve as a liaison between the law firm, court, governing intellectual property agencies, and clients. Many paralegals may work in a fast-paced environment under deadlines for court filings and statutes of limitations that may affect the integrity of the case.
Conducting database searches for intellectual property infringement is also a key function for paralegals. This type of search is helpful for clients concerned with identifying possible breaches against an existing copyright, patent, or trademark right. Performing a search on infringement may also protect clients from violating the rights of others.
Another duty for paralegals may involve investigations to gather pertinent details that support infringement claims. Most paralegals are responsible for gathering facts that may prove infringement when the attorney plans to take legal action. This research may include finding laws and past court decisions that set legal precedents of significance to a case. The paralegal may compile the information and present the findings to the attorney.