Patent Agent Salary
Job Description for Patent Agent
Inventors looking to obtain protection for their innovations employ patent practitioners, otherwise known as patent agents, for assistance with the patent application process. Certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), patent agents help prospective inventors navigate the complex requirements of patent application.Read More...
Patent agents help prospective inventors with every step of the application process, which typically starts with the agents researching the invention or process that has been invented; after this, a search for similar applications is conducted. If the innovation is found to be unique, patent agents help the inventor refine the application and guide them through the process of federal patent review questions and possible objections. Many times, patent agents act on behalf of the inventor as an intermediary authorized to interact with the USPTO on any issues related to a patent application or questions from federal patent reviewers. Patent agents may work for a variety of employers, including universities, law firms, corporations such as pharmaceutical and engineering firms, and private individuals.
Orospective patent agents must hold at least a bachelor's degree in the physical sciences or in an engineering field. After successful application and testing by the UPSTO, patent agents are then registered and certified as patent practitioners.
Patent Agent Tasks
- Respond to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) actions.
- Interview clients and conduct research to understand invention.
- Draft and prosecute patent application for invention.
- Aid inventors and invention owners in obtaining a patent for their invention.
- Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.
Patent Agent (Non-Attorney) Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Patent Agent
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $86K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $105K. Patent Agents bring in $124K after working for 10 to 20 years. Patent Agents with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $125K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Patent Agents, Palo Alto provides a pay rate that is 26 percent greater than the national average. Patent Agents will also find cushy salaries in New York (+25 percent), Seattle (+25 percent), San Francisco (+22 percent), and Austin (+16 percent). Patent Agents in Minneapolis take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 29 percent less than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Los Angeles and Denver (13 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).