Eric Goldman

shutterstockI can think of a few explanations for a hard/soft distinction among intellectual properties.
First, patents often cover physical devices, so they often have a physical tangibility, while copyrights, trademarks and other IPs may be more intangible by comparison (even though patents protect “ideas,” which is as intangible as they come).
Second, the hard/soft distinction might imply some difference in the degree of the practice’s difficulty, i.e., the perception that patent law, and any associated technology, are complicated and “hard,” while other IPs are relatively easy and “soft” by comparison.

3 thoughts on “Eric Goldman

  1. shinichi Post author

    It’s true that patent prosecution requires passage of a separate bar exam, which in turn requires a technical background, so in that sense becoming a patent practitioner is “harder” than becoming an IP practitioner generally. Still, there is a certain implicit arrogance in this line of thinking.


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