What does a Patent Attorney do?

Patent attorneys offer legal advice to clients regarding intellectual property issues and matters surrounding inventions. They assist with trademarks, patents, and copyright law issues and have the ability to work independently, in a specialized firm, or in-house with a corporation. They draft, file, and prosecute patent applications on behalf of clients who are inventors and argue cases before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patent attorneys represent inventors during the application process and sometimes act as litigators to protect a customer’s rights to what they have invented. They assist clients through the lengthy and complicated process required to apply for and receive a patent for their invention. They remain up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations that govern patent laws and conduct searches to ensure a client’s invention has not been previously represented within the public domain Patent lawyers need a Juris Doctor and must pass the state bar exam. In some cases, a patent lawyer also must pass the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office exam.

Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.8 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Patent Attorney Salaries

Average Base Pay

$80,000 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
$80K
Median: $80K
$80K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Patent Attorney Career Path

Learn how to become a Patent Attorney, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

See Career Path

Patent Attorney Insights

Read what Patent Attorney professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Tyco Fire & Security
IP Counsel
9 Aug 2021

“I was in the Exeter NH HQ and my boss and his boss were the best.”

Mewburn EllisMewburn Ellis
Associate Patent Attorney
10 Dec 2020

“There is a supportive culture and I can see myself staying at the firm for my whole career.”

Hanley, Flight & ZimmermanHanley, Flight & Zimmerman
Patent Attorney
5 Apr 2021

“At the same time I was able to pay my bills and enjoy the security of having benefits.”

JMMBJMMB
Intellectual Property Attorney
18 Oct 2021

“Good service overall really nice”

Dr. Shlomo Cohen & Co.
Patent Attorney
1 Jan 2021

“The CEO micromanages to a degree which makes it almost impossible to get any work done.”

Barnes GroupBarnes Group
IP Counsel
26 Dec 2021

“Great team to work with really enjoyed my time there”

Hickman Palermo Becker BinghamHickman Palermo Becker Bingham
Patent Attorney
31 Aug 2020

“Great people to work with”

McDermott Will & EmeryMcDermott Will & Emery
IP Attorney
2 Jun 2021

“very good work life balance”

See More

Patent Attorney Interviews

Related Careers

Document Review Attorney
No skills overlap
Attorney
$75,000
No skills overlap
Counsel
$200,000
Trial Attorney
No skills overlap

Patent Attorney jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a patent attorney

The most similar professions to patent attorney are:
  • Document Review Attorney
  • Attorney
  • Counsel
  • Trial Attorney