What Does an Intellectual Property Paralegal Do?

What Does an Intellectual Property Paralegal Do?

Intellectual property, which are works, ideas or inventions formed from someone’s creativity, are valuable business assets which should be legally protected by the creators. Intellectual property law firms help secure patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other legal protections for clients.

IP laws can be complicated, and many cases require litigation. This is why clients look to hire intellectual property law firms with lots of experience. Intellectual property attorneys rely on paralegals to help them with these cases daily.

This is an interesting and exciting field in the legal profession, and many paralegals choose to go into this specialty. But before you begin your career in intellectual property, it’s crucial that you understand the skills you’ll need to succeed in this field, and the duties for which you’ll be responsible.

What Is an Intellectual Property Paralegal?

An intellectual property (IP) paralegal assists an attorney or team of attorneys with intellectual property cases, such as filing applications for trademarks, registered marks, patents, and copyrights. IP paralegals may also assist a lawyer with protecting trade secrets, creative works, or inventions for a client.

They may do legal research, help prepare applications, correspond with clients, manage appeals, track case progress, and manage the docket for the attorneys.

IP paralegals do not practice law or give legal advice, but they assist attorneys in their cases. Many job descriptions may look for an associates or bachelor’s degree. Some IP paralegals go on to become lawyers, but they are an integral part of an effective intellectual property legal team.

Responsibilities of an Intellectual Property Paralegal

An intellectual property paralegal works in support of an attorney, handling important administrative tasks. Many IP paralegals handle the first meeting with the client, taking notes on what the needs of the case are, and reporting back to the attorney. These are the main responsibilities of an IP paralegal.

·         Client intake and initial case assessment

·         Drafting applications for patents, trademarks, or copyrights for clients

·         Editing and filing patent documents

·         Submitting additional materials for patent, trademark, or copyright applications, responding to appeals

·         Case research assigned by supervising attorneys

·         Managing all client communication regarding intellectual property case

·         Reviewing and maintaining a docket

·         Preparing legal documents for IP cases

·         Providing legal support for discovery; conducting patent research

·         Create status reports for cases in process

·         Maintaining case records and office secretarial duties

How to Become an IP Paralegal

In most states, you can get an entry-level role as a an intellectual property paralegal by completing an associate’s degree or certificate program in paralegal studies. To become a paralegal in California, you must complete one of the following three qualifications: complete 24 units of paralegal studies at an accredited college, earn a bachelor’s degree in any field and work under a eligible attorney for one year, or complete a paralegal certification program at an ABA-approved school.

Some programs offer elective courses in intellectual property law, so paralegal students can familiarize themselves with patent, copyright, and trademark law. Law firms may be actively seeking candidates who are certified paralegals who have completed a program approved by the American Bar Association.

To be a successful IP paralegal, you’ll need excellent written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking, legal research skills, attention to detail, and a good working knowledge of intellectual property law in the US.

Average Salary for IP Paralegals

How much can you expect to earn as an intellectual property paralegal? Your salary will range depending on your experience and the size and location of the law firm. Paralegals in general in 2023 made a mean average salary of $60,970 per year and a mean wage of $29.31 per hour, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[1]

It is not uncommon for intellectual property paralegals to make more than this, commiserate with experience and in cities where many IP applications are filed.

Become a Paralegal with Our Online Training Program

If you’re ready to start your career as a paralegal, and you’re an eligible student, you can enroll in our Online Paralegal Studies program. This program helps students become fully certified paralegal while earning your AA degree. The online paralegal program at Campus is an ABA-approved paralegal program, meaning it adheres to the highest standards of legal training and education.

If you have any questions about enrollment, curriculum, or financial aid, contact our Admissions team by requesting more information or contacting an admissions representative.


[1] Note: The data provided above are from a source unaffiliated with Campus, are for informational purposes only and represent the employment field as a whole. They are not solely specific to Campus graduates and, by providing the above information, Campus makes no representation, direct or implied, or opinion regarding employability.