Intellectual property lawyers in the computer and video game industry focus on the protection of creative thought. Intellectual property (IP) lawyers may work with copyrights to protect works their clients have authored; trademarks to protect brand names and symbols associated with their clients’ businesses; and patents to protect their clients’ inventions and discoveries. IP attorneys may also work with companies to protect their trade secrets.
IP lawyers in the computer and video game industry have been kept busy with the explosion of new games and platforms. It is their job to protect emerging new ideas and creations, such as a new game platform, a new game engine, or a new computer and video game design. According to the Franklin Pierce Law Center, the United States is the largest producer of intellectual property in the world.
According to the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the average salary for a trust attorney in Wyoming firms is $119,000 per year. Inexperienced IP lawyers can expect to make between $80,000 and $85,000, and those with the most experience and success will earn more than $180,000 per year. The median income for partners in private law firms is over $200,000 per year, while associates’ salary is about $77,000. IP lawyers who own their own practices usually make $100,000 per year while salaries for those who work in law firms and corporations average slightly higher.
Almost all corporations, firms, and government agencies provide medical insurance, vacation, sick days, and holidays. Partners in large firms can expect other perks as well, including company cars, spending allowances, bonuses, and more depending on the firm.
IP attorneys, like lawyers in other areas, have heavy workloads and work long hours. IP lawyers employed in law firms and in computer and video game companies may spend hours poring over documents with few breaks. Many law firms have weekly goals for their lawyers that include the number of hours billed to the client. Some of these goals can be extremely demanding. Most of the lawyer’s time is spent indoors meeting with clients, researching, or arguing in court.
Depending on their position in the company or firm, IP lawyers may lead a team of lawyers or supervise a group of paralegals and associates.
The outlook for intellectual property law is promising. This field is relatively new and the demand for IP professionals doesn’t show signs of slowing. The growth of the computer industry and the Internet have provided a great amount of work for IP lawyers.
As new computer software and online media enters the market, IP lawyers will be needed to protect it. According to the American Bar Association, even if other markets that use the services of lawyers are softened by recession, the demand for IP lawyers will remain high. Because there will always be a need to protect the creative resources of the people, there will also be a need for IP lawyers.