Patent Attorney Salary

Patent Attorneys enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($130K) annually in the United States. In the world of Patent Attorneys, overall income ranges from $79K near the bottom to $216K at the top; this can include more than $36K from bonuses and more than $27K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Patent Attorneys like their work and job satisfaction is high. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. There are far more male Patent Attorneys survey respondents than women, making up 87 percent. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$76,689 - $195,047
(Median)
$77K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $130,326
10%
50%
90%

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$20.13 - $195.74
(Median)
$20
$49
$200
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$76,689 - $195,047  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,794  
Profit Sharing
$345.21 - $26,819  
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).
)
$78,678 - $215,784  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 628
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70$140$210
Hourly Rate
$20.13 - $195.74  
   
Overtime
$46.18 - $101.74  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$140K$280K$420K
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,794  
   
Profit Sharing
$345.21 - $26,819  
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).
)
$78,678 - $215,784  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 20
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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

  • 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.
  • Works with federal patent examiners to resolve any patent related issues.
  • Discuss invention and research the likelihood of successfully attaining a patent.
  • Litigates patent infringement controversies in court.

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Popular Skills for Patent Attorney


Patent Attorneys who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Patents, Intellectual Property, Prosecution, and Patent Prosecution are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 11 percent. For most people, competency in Intellectual Property indicates knowledge of Patents.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Patent Attorneys, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average inexperienced employee pulls down a cushy six-figure sum; the median salary for people claiming fewer than five years of experience is $119K. Patent Attorneys claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $176K. Patent Attorneys with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are no higher than those with 10 to 20 years on the job.

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Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$138,000


Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries

Patents
up arrow 11%


Prosecution
up arrow 5%

National Average
$138,000

Patent Prosecution
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 85 votes.

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 86% dental benefits Dental: 66%
vision benefits Vision: 49% employee benefits None: 13%
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