Careers in IP


A career in IP can do more than just shape ideas—it can
advance research change lives revolutionize industries spark innovation

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More than you think

Intellectual Property (IP) is about more than trademarks and patents. It’s about protecting and supporting the things most important to us: our ideas. And as an IP professional, you don’t just have a front-row seat to a world of innovation, you’re playing a crucial role.

Careers in IP

What will you do in IP?

There are many different careers to explore in the world of IP. See what others are doing in intellectual property and chart your own path in this exciting field.

The IP Lawyer – Sara

Sara is an IP Lawyer specializing in trademark law. She works at a well-known law firm in Toronto and helps big clients in sports and entertainment protect their brand identities by registering trademarks, conducting trademark searches, and handling trademark disputes.

Education & Journey
  • Sara earned her bachelor’s degree in business at a Canadian University and then pursued a Juris Doctor (JD) to practice law.
  • During law school, she articled at a trademark firm, getting practical experience.
  • After passing the bar exam, she joined a boutique IP firm and gradually built her reputation as a skilled trademark lawyer. After 2 years with the firm, Sara was eligible to take the Trademark agent exam. She passed, and soon after became a Trademark Agent for the firm.

The Patent Agent – Amir

Amir is a Patent Agent employed in-house at a corporation. Amir works with the corporation to develop and implement their IP strategy. Amir also manages the corporations’ relationship with external IP professionals in private practice who help the company secure IP rights, and at times help defend and assert the companies IP rights.

Education & Journey
  • Amir got a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Amir was then hired by an IP agency and was mentored by an experienced patent agent within the agency. After gaining a deep knowledge of patent law, patent prosecution, and IP strategy, Amir took the necessary steps to become a registered Patent Agent.
  • After passing the College of Patents and Trademark Agents’ (CPATA) exam, Amir was officially a licensed patent agent. He was hired by his current employer shortly after.

The Consultant – Alex

Alex is an IP Consultant who works independently. They give useful advice to startups and small businesses about everything related to IP strategy. They know the ins and outs of safeguarding ideas, creative innovations, and trade secrets. As their own boss, they get to set their schedule to one exciting client at a time.

Education & Journey
  • Alex earned their Master’s degree in Law, followed by their JD.
  • Then got hired by a law firm in the IP department and trained to become a patent and a trademark agent over the next few years.
  • They gained experience by working as an in-house IP counsel for a tech startup for several years.
  • They decided to start their consultancy after accumulating industry knowledge and a network of contacts.

The Industrial Design Specialist – Darius

Darius is a patent agent specializing in industrial design. Employed at a boutique firm, Darius represents designers, design firms and small business seeking to protect their industrial designs. Part of Darius day-to-day work also involves working with his clients on achieving their goals with their designs and advising within the context of the clients broader IP strategy.

Education & Journey
  • Darius earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, specializing in industrial design.
  • Darius passed his Patent Examination through CPATA.
  • Darius’ unique skills in design led him to become a strong agent in this field.

The Trademark Agent – Sofia

Sofia is a self-employed Trademark Agent. Her work involves collaborating closely with companies and their marketing teams to ensure their brands & trademarks are protected globally. Sofia is contracted out to develop trademark strategies, including registering trademarks, monitoring for potential infringements, and managing disputes and oppositions to protect the company’s brand identity.

Education & Journey
  • Sofia obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Legal Studies.
  • After graduation, Sofia joined a local IP law firm as a paralegal where, under the supervision of a Trademark agent, she was introduced to the world of trademarks and brand protection.
  • Sofia completed additional specialized courses in trademark law and passed the examination administered by the College of Patents and Trademark Agents (CPATA), earning her the credentials to practice as a licensed Trademark Agent. Today, she runs her own business

Copyright – Michelle

Michelle works in copyright. Copyright is all about protecting creative work. If you write a hit song, paint a masterpiece, or code a game, copyright gives you the rights to control who can use, copy, or show your work. It’s like a shield for your artistic creations, and it lasts your whole lifetime (plus 70 years).

Potential Careers
  • Lawyer
  • Licensing Executives
  • Copyright Professionals

Trademarks – Maria

Maria has a career in trademarks. Trademarks are like your business’s face or identity. They ensure no one else can use your logo or name to confuse others. They’re essential for building a strong brand and trust with consumers.

Potential Careers
  • Litigators
  • Trademark Agent
  • Mediator or Arbitrator

Patents – Daniel

Daniel has a passion for patents. Patents give exclusive rights for inventors. If you come up with an invention that’s new and useful, a patent gives you a 20-year head start on it. This means no one else can make, use, or sell your invention without your permission. Patents encourage people to invent new stuff and share their knowledge with the world.

Potential Careers
  • Patent Agent
  • In-House Counsel
  • Licensing Executive

Industrial Design – Phylicia

Phylicia loves the world of industrial design. Industrial design is all about making stuff look awesome and work well. Think of it as the style and functionality of products. If you design a product that’s not just useful but also unique, you can protect that design.

Potential Careers
  • Industrial Designer
  • Licencing Specialist
  • Consultant

News you can use

The latest from the world of IP

June 2024 - This complementary webinar offered by IPIC will be a helpful discussion for those new to, or considering, a career in IP.

Working in IP without a Law Degree - IPIC Webinar

Register Here

May 2024 - Sheema Khan, The Globe and Mail

Will the rise of AI spell the end of intellectual property rights?

Read Story

April 2024 - La Presse

4 raisons de faire carrière dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle

Read story


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Personal stories

IP professionals making their mark

Selena Kim

IP Lawyer

“The opportunity to build friendships and relationships with IP lawyers from across Canada and around the world is another great benefit of our profession. I am truly thankful that I work in IP.”

David Lipkus

IP Lawyer

“There is no cooler job in IP – I get to work closely with the most popular brands in the world, law enforcement, online intermediaries, and really smart colleagues.”

Roula Thomas

Patent Agent

“A career in IP helped me move out of the lab and into a rewarding profession that has allowed me to witness the culmination of years of research by world-class scientists.“

Next steps

Get your career in IP started today


Learn invaluable insights from seasoned experts in the intellectual property field. Carve your own path with guidance from those who have walked in your shoes. Obtain a deep understanding of the industry's inner workings and set the stage for your success.

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Browse IP jobs

Navigate your way to exciting opportunities in the intellectual property field through our comprehensive IP Job Board. Discover a wide range of openings from renowned companies, connect with potential employers, and take the next step towards a rewarding career in intellectual property.

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Join an IPIC course

Immerse yourself in the world of intellectual property through IPIC’s educational offerings. Expand your knowledge, engage with top-notch instructors, and gain valuable insights into the dynamic field of IP.

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Access IP resources

Unlock a wealth of resources and opportunities by becoming a student member of IPIC (Intellectual Property Institute of Canada). Gain access to a comprehensive suite of tools, including industry insights, educational materials, networking events, and career development resources, empowering you to excel in your intellectual property journey.

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Kickstart your journey with this essential reading

IPIC’s Job Bank
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Own Your IP
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How to become an agent
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