Patent Attorney Salary

Patent Attorneys in the United States see excellent average salaries — about $135K annually. Cash earnings for Patent Attorneys — including $39K in bonuses and $19K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $83K to $213K depending on individual performance. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. For the most part, Patent Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Patent Attorneys are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$80,600 - $196,815
$81K
$140K
$200K
MEDIAN: $135,014
10%
50%
90%

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$25.76 - $290.87
$26
$57
$290
MEDIAN: $57.26
10%
50%
90%

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$0$213K
Salary $80,600 - $196,815
Bonus $1,954 - $39,146
Profit Sharing $0.00 - $19,000
Commission $15,000
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$82,583 - $213,091
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 361
Hourly Data $0$290
Hourly Rate $25.76 - $290.87
Annual Data $0$213K
Bonus $1,954 - $39,146
Commission $15,000
Profit Sharing $0.00 - $19,000
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$82,583 - $213,091
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 25 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 13

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Job Description for Patent Attorney

A patent attorney works in a company to ensure that its patents adhere to standard protocols and are defended against infringements. The position requires the candidate to have a law degree and to have passed the bar exam in the state in which the company is located. Additionally, certain companies look for lawyers who have studied engineering, biological, or other technology-related fields.

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Patent Attorney Tasks

  • Discuss invention and research the likelihood of successfully attaining a patent.
  • Litigates patent infringement controversies in court.
  • Works with federal patent examiners to resolve any patent related issues.
  • Describe inventions in strict legal terms and drafts patent application; challenge, negotiate, resolve and amend contested patent areas.
  • Analyze scientific and technical documents previously granted patents to determine if invention is new, innovative and does not infringe upon patented items.

Patent Attorney Job Listings

Popular Skills for Patent Attorney


Survey results show that Patent Attorneys use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Patent, Intellectual Property, Prosecution, and Legal Research are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Technical Writing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Patent Prosecution and Patents also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Intellectual Property also tend to know Patent Prosecution.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

Pay by Experience for a Patent Attorney has a positive trend. An entry-level Patent Attorney with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $117,000 based on 203 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Patent Attorney with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $158,000 based on 106 salaries. An experienced Patent Attorney which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $178,000 based on 106 salaries. A Patent Attorney with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $190,000 based on 42 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $141,245

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Patent Attorneys will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 20 percent. Patent Attorneys can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+20 percent), New York (+15 percent), Atlanta (+13 percent), and Philadelphia (+9 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Raleigh, 13 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Irvine and Detroit (12 percent lower).

Patent Attorney Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Patent Attorney?

Patent Attorney in Philadelphia:
"Work Experience."
Pros: Flexibility, vacation time, work-life balance.
Cons: No health insurance and other benefits.

Patent Attorney in Washington:
"Flexible Hours while foregoing biglaw pay."
Pros: I have flexible hours and I'm able to telecommute up to 50% of the time.
Cons: There's not much difference in the effectiveness of an exceptional attorney vs a mediocre attorney in patent prosecution.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Patent Attorney

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 37 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
11%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
▲34%

▲26%

▲12%

National Average
$141,000

▼17%

Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries

Patent
▲9%


Prosecution
▲2%

National Average
$141,000

Legal Research
▼6%

Patents
▼16%

Patent Prosecution
▼34%

Technical Writing
▼41%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 37 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 57%
no benefits
None: 13%
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