With the constantly occurring patent related issues, highlighted by the ongoing Apple verses Samsung lawsuits, the interest in patent lawyers, who deal with the legal matters related to intellectual property, have reached its peak. In fact, various economic journals are saying that numerous law firms and major companies, like Samsung and LG, are focusing their efforts on acquiring patent lawyers, leading to a shortage in available manpower when it comes to lawyers with a specialization in electrical engineering. To learn about the life of a patent lawyer, we had an interview with a KAIST Electrical Engineering graduate, Young Gil Kim, who now works as a patent lawyer at his own firm.
Q. Please introduce yourself.
A. Hello. My name is Young Gil Kim and I graduated with the 12th graduating class of the Department of Electrical Engineering from KAIST. After graduating from KAIST, I worked at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute. After working at the Institute for 3 years, I worked at the Korean Intellectual Property Office as a government employee for 8 years. After that, I worked at Kim & Chang Law Firm as a patent lawyer, and later started my own firm to continue working as a patent lawyer.
Q. What does a patent lawyer do?
A. It used to be that not many people knew what we did, but with the start of the so-called ‘patent wars,’ now it is relatively well known. As the word sounds, patent lawyers help inventors in claiming their rights on their inventions as intellectual property. In simpler terms, we help prevent other from copying one’s inventions that came from that person’s ideas. To do this, we file patent applications that the general public cannot fill out to protect their rights.