Patent Attorney Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Patent Attorneys in the United States, with median pay hovering around $131K per year. Final cash compensation to Patent Attorneys varies from around $80K to approximately $221K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $36K and $27K, respectively. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the greater part earn dental coverage. The vast majority (87 percent) of Patent Attorneys who answered the questionnaire are male. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$77,129 - $197,246
(Median)
$77K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $130,597
10%
50%
90%

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$20.13 - $195.74
(Median)
$20
$51
$200
MEDIAN: $50
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
$77,129 - $197,246  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,633  
Profit Sharing
$354.79 - $27,181  
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).
)
$79,543 - $220,798  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 626
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 - $35,633  
   
Profit Sharing
$354.79 - $27,181  
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).
)
$79,543 - $220,798  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 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.

Patent Attorney Job Listings

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Patent Attorneys only report a few specific skills. Intellectual Property and Prosecution are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Experience with Intellectual Property is often linked with knowledge of Patent Prosecution.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

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


The average inexperienced employee pulls down a cushy six-figure sum; the median salary for people claiming fewer than five years of experience is $118K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $177K in this role. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $175K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 29%

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

National Average
$137,000


Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries


Prosecution
up arrow 5%

Patent Prosecution
0%

National Average
$137,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 99 votes.

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 86% dental benefits Dental: 65%
vision benefits Vision: 49% employee benefits None: 14%