I recently attended an Intellectual Property career panel sponsored by Seattle University’s Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS). I asked what I thought was an innocent question: You can browse this site to find out more about online casino.
“What opportunities are there, other then the Arts Legal Clinic and possibly an internship at EFF, to prepare oneself for public interest work in IP?”
The answer I got was rather surprising:
You might want to watch who you associate with, with regards to EFF, you might want to avoid being labeled a Frothing Open Source Advocate. The Patent Bar is a small group and you need be careful about your reputation. (this answer was paraphrased from – Anthony Claiborne, of Microsoft)
I wonder if this applies to associating with Freedom For IP? (It might be a little late for me to save my reputation…) I personally do not think that public interest and Microsoft’s interests have to be at odds.
I am not sure if I am more troubled by this answer or the fact that the only helpful advice was to try working “Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts”. The more I look for opportunities to gain public interest experience the more I notice a Void. There needs to be more organizations here like EFF and The Public Patent Foundation to help represent the interest of those wishing to free culture and innovation.