Tag Archives: Intellectual Property

“Why I’m Interested in a Career in IP”

The Glamour of Entertainment Law

I’ve been interested in IP from an early age. Growing up, my mother’s best friend worked in Entertainment Law in Hollywood. I didn’t understand her job until years later, but she was working in IP.

At the time, her job simply seemed glamorous. She represented ‘the stars.’ I was intrigued by the idea of making money as a lawyer working with celebrities. I have loved music since I began playing the violin at four years old and I vividly remember my first concert at the age of six. Music has been a part of my entire life. Once I learned about IP and its relation to music, I couldn’t help but think of a better way to enjoy a career in law.

I am pictured on the left, playing at one of my first violin recitals. Photo attributed to Ron Field.

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My Path to IP at Loyola – Expect the Unexpected

“They have law for patents?” I asked my friend. He was telling me about his new job as a legal assistant in a patent law firm. Little did I know, patent law would play a significant role in the start of my legal career.

How did that happen, despite knowing nothing about patents? Let me explain. Continue reading

An IP Student’s Guide to Patent Law: What I Wish I Knew Before My First Interview

I came to Loyola with an interest in intellectual property, specifically patents. Patents are granted by a country to protect inventions by granting the inventor certain rights. When it came time to start my job search for my 1L summer, I knew I wanted to try and get experience in the field of IP. In every IP interview I’ve had thus far, the interviewer has always asked what kind of patent law I want to practice. Do I want to “prosecute” patents, meaning writing and obtaining a patent for an inventor? Or, do I want to litigate issues for granted patents? These are the two most common areas of patent law. In my early interviews, I would answer patent litigation. I have previous experience as a litigation consultant prior to law school, and have always romanticized being a trial attorney. However, as I gained interview experience and spoke with more attorneys, I realized there were many different areas of patent law of which I had no idea existed. I realized I had an interest in a lot of them. After learning more about these fields, I was able to better tailor my job search to firms that offered those types of patent law.

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“TRIPS” Down Memory Lane: An Interview with Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is an in-house attorney at Kemin Industries. She handles the everyday business concerns regarding intellectual property (IP), international business, and contracting. Prior to working at Kemin Industries, Sarah learned successful litigation strategies as an associate attorney at Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff.

She graduated from Cornell College in Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Religion before attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law. While at Loyola, she competed on the National Health Law Moot Court Team and the Appellate Lawyers Association Moot Court Team. She wrote for the Annals of Health Law and Journal of Regulatory Compliance. Sarah externed at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and clerked for the Honorable Judge Neil Hartigan in the Court of Claims. She was also a research assistant for Professor Cynthia Ho, who mentored Sarah during her time at Loyola after connecting during a prospective student tour. Sarah then went onto take all of Professor Ho’s IP courses in addition to completing the Advocacy and Health Law certificates. She was also a member of IP Bytes.

We recently spoke about her background, her Loyola experiences, and how IP has influenced her legal career.

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My Dynamic Journey to IP Law

Fusion

[fyoo-zhin] (noun), A process or mechanism of combining two distinct matters into one.

For most of my life, I didn’t consider law school at all. I was interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fields that I thought had nothing to do with law. In my head, TV-depictions of lawyers like Harvey Specter or Olivia Pope were the only representations of legal work. So basically, I thought attorneys managed million-dollar-deals or put criminals behind bars.

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Places of Discovery Like Loyola

Finding Intellectual Property Law

Photo taken by Suet Lee

My favorite Saturday college pastime was teaching kids about everything from ozobots to farm automation to the Polar Virtual Reality Exhibit. I taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery Building, a place where students and their families can explore science, technology, engineering, and math concepts through fun activities. The Discovery Building also houses the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, nonprofit research institute dedicated to biology studies and interdisciplinary biomedical research. That is where I first discovered intellectual property (IP) law as a career path. How? By seeing its application in the lab!                                       

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Stealing Settlers? How IP factors into Online Games

Can Intellectual Property Protect Board Games?

I love board games and have been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan online during the pandemic. I use a site called colonist.io, which is an offshoot, unaffiliated version of the Settlers of Catan game. During my Intellectual Property (IP) class with Professor Ho earlier this year, I wondered how IP rights extend to board games. When we tend to think of IP, we might think of cool technological inventions for patents or Disney’s Mickey Mouse for copyright. IP generally relates to protecting human created products, names, and expressions, and can give its owner rights to protect these.

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Reconsidering My Law School Decision: Why I (Finally) Chose Loyola

In April 2020, I was committed to attending a law school that was not Loyola. After making the tuition deposit, however, something didn’t feel right. I began rethinking whether that school would be the best place to spend the next three years. But where would I go?

My goal was to attend a school with a strong IP program. However, I wanted more than a curriculum. I wanted a community, a place that would make me happy when I walked through the doors every day. After making this realization, I scheduled calls with deans, professors, alumni, and students at other law schools to gain insights into their experiences.

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Patents and Pancakes

I had a fairly clear idea when I came to Loyola University Chicago School of Law that I wanted to focus on patent law. Having a science background, it seemed like a natural fit given the intersection between patent law and science. However, my interests weren’t solidified until I read patent cases assessing the validity of a patented pancake recipe. You’ll have to learn a little bit about my childhood to understand why those interests solidified though. 

A consistent motivating force throughout my life has been figuring out how things worked. As a kid, whenever I got bored with a toy, I would sneak tools from my dad’s toolbox and take it apart. I wanted to get a better understanding of how the toy worked. Knowing that I’d get a lecture on why I shouldn’t break my toys, I’d try to put them back together—often unsuccessfully. Nevertheless, the hunt for that forbidden knowledge was worth the lecture and one less toy. I needed to figure out how it worked, no matter the consequences.

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