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Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

What Does an IP Docketing Specialist Do?

Alt Legal Team | November 24, 2021
4 min read

This article was originally published on November 24, 2021. It was republished with updates on January 19, 2024.

Working in the Intellectual Property (IP) field is an exciting career path. There’s been a global surge in trademark applications creating many new job opportunities for IP specialists and particularly, for IP Docketing Specialists and Trademark Docketing Specialists/Trademark Administrators. Getting involved in IP is particularly interesting because it allows you to see the inner workings of businesses as they emerge and develop and to learn about trends in various industries. IP professionals often report high career satisfaction due to the nature of the work. Also, because IP professionals become highly specialized in the tasks they perform, they are often well-compensated. According to LawCrossing at the time of publishing this article, IP Paralegals earn on average $114,500 annually, whereas other types of paralegals, including Medical Malpractice Paralegals, Trial Paralegals, and Corporate Securities Paralegals, are earning around $50,000 annually.

If you already have a legal career, perhaps as a legal secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, or other nonlawyer position, you may consider specializing in IP and/or pursuing a path as an IP Docketing Specialist. Check out Alt Legal’s eBook: Introduction to USPTO Trademark Prosecution to learn about the substantive law behind trademarks and get practical guidance when it comes to filing and successfully registering an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This article will help you understand what IP docketing specialists dow and how to become an IP docketing specialist.

Additionally, all IP docketing specialists are welcome to join the Trademark Administrators’ Exchange, a free email list serve for trademark and other IP administrators, paralegals, legal assistants, docketers, & more to share resources and learn from one another.

What Does an IP Docketing Specialist Do?

IP Docketing Specialists work closely with lawyers to manage the firm or company’s IP docket which is typically maintained on IP docketing software. An IP docket is essentially a highly technical calendar that keeps track of deadlines associated with a firm or company’s IP filings. There are numerous deadlines associated with IP filings, particularly trademarks and patents, and it is important to have a reliable IP docketing system in which to track and monitor deadlines.

It is also very important to have a skilled IP Docketing Specialist who understands how to use a firm or company’s IP docketing software. An IP docketing specialist is responsible for maintaining and monitoring all of the information in the firm or company’s IP docket using IP docketing software. This may involve inputting data, updating matters, uploading documents, running specific reports, using the software to initiate filings, using the software to send emails or other communications, etc. The IP docketing specialist is generally considered the “expert” at the firm or company at using and maintaining the IP docketing system.

Running reports is a particularly important aspect of an IP Docketing Specialist’s job. Learning to generate useful reports with all of the necessary information helps to translate all of the data that lives within the docketing software into useful, actionable information for other members of the IP team and clients.

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An IP Docketing Specialist may also handle other work outside of the docket, or their work may be specifically dedicated to managing the docket. Many large law firms and companies with significant IP portfolios may have an IP Docketing Specialist (or several) who are responsible for managing the IP docket. It this sounds like a job that would interest you, continue reading to learn how to become an IP docketing specialist.

What is a Trademark Docketing Specialist?

A Trademark Docketing Specialist is a particular type of IP Docketing Specialist who focuses specifically on trademark matters and does not handle patent docketing. Trademark Docketing Specialists will have a deep understanding of all of the types of filings and deadlines associated with trademark applications and registrations in the US and abroad. Trademark Docketing Specialists will also be responsible for coordinating trademark filings with foreign agents, assisting with procuring trademark registrations abroad.

Because of their robust knowledge of trademark prosecution procedures, Trademark Docketing Specialists will be highly adept at managing a firm or company’s trademark matters using trademark docketing software or IP docketing software. Typically, a Trademark Docketing Specialist will work at a very large law firm or company with very large IP portfolios that require highly skilled IP Docketing Specialists including Trademark Docketing Specialists and Patent Docketing Specialists.

Learn more about developing a career path for a trademark paralegal or trademark administrator.

How Do I Become an IP Specialist?

If you are interested how to be an IP Specialist, how to be an IP Docketing Specialist, or how to be a Trademark Docketing Specialist, try to find entry level positions or internships at law firms or companies looking for these positions or IP paralegals. This work experience will be invaluable as you build an understanding of IP law and Trademark law. You can also take Alt Legal’s free Trademark Paralegal Course which is designed to help trademark paralegals and administrators learn about and refine their knowledge of trademark prosecution. It is also meant to help non-trademark specialists learn how to become IP docketing specialists. The course is taught by top paralegals and attorneys at law firms and in-house departments and features both introductory sections on IP and advanced sections on trademark searches and ethical obligations. Once you complete the course, Alt Legal will issue you a certificate of completion which you may share with potential employers as you begin your journey to become an IP Docketing Specialist or a Trademark Docketing Specialist.

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