According to the Partnership for American Innovation, a patent rights industry group, intellectual property in the United States is worth more than $5 trillion dollars, and it helps support more than 40 million jobs in industry sectors such as telecommunications, biotech, agriculture and software applications.
In San Diego County, intellectual property is at the very center of the region’s vibrant and growing innovation economy. In 2014, for instance, more than 6,560 patents were granted in the region, creating a huge demand not only for intellectual property attorneys but for a wide range of professionals from paralegals to middle-managers.
To address that demand, local universities have developed several programs for individuals looking to break in to this important and evolving field.
Recently, San Diego State University College of Sciences and the University of San Diego School of Law have partnered on a new program that prepares students for upward career mobility in the growing life sciences industry.
The six-course Advanced Certificate in Intellectual Property and Regulatory Affairs program begins in the fall semester is focused on providing mid-level life science professionals with the skills needed to translate scientific discovery into commercial products.
“The innovation economy is central to our region,” said Elliot Hirshman, president of San Diego State University. “Life sciences companies already employ 45,000 people and this sector is growing with high-wage jobs. Our joint program will give students these skills, benefiting them and our entire region.”
Another option for those looking to enter the growing field is UC San Diego Extension’s Intellectual Property Certificate. The eight-course program, which has awarded approximately 20 certificates a year since its inception a decade ago, provides students a foundation in how to secure and maintain patents, copyrights and trademarks. It also allows them to focus on key sectors in the local economy such as biosciences, medical devices, software development as well as the rules guiding international patent law.
“We know that patents are the lifeblood of our innovation economy,” said Julia Dunlap, who oversees the UC San Diego Extension program. “Companies are clamoring for people who can help them stay in front of curve both in developing and protecting their intellectual property.”
When it comes to intellectual property, knowledge is not just power — it is also big business.
To find out more about the San Diego State’s regulatory affairs programs, visit regsci.sdsu.edu, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (619) 594-6030.
To find out more about UC San Diego Extension’s intellectual property offerings, visit http://extension.ucsd.edu/iplaw, email email@example.com or call at (858) 534-8164.