Patent Attorney Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Patent Attorneys in the United States, with median pay hovering around $135K per year. In the world of Patent Attorneys, overall income ranges from $79K near the bottom to $210K at the top; this can include more than $39K from bonuses and more than $14K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Patent Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Patent Attorneys who answered the questionnnaire. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$78,141 - $195,895
$78K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $134,616
10%
50%
90%

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$29.09 - $103.65
$29
$50
$100
MEDIAN: $50.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$78,141 - $195,895  
   
Bonus
$1,283 - $39,151  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $14,388  
Commission
$7,500  
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).
)
$78,999 - $209,632  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 361
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$29.09 - $103.65  
   
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$1,283 - $39,151  
   
Commission
$7,500  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $14,388  
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).
)
$78,999 - $209,632  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 15
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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United States (change)

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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

  • 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.

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Popular Skills for Patent Attorney


Patent Attorneys report using a diverse set of skills on the job. 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. Most people who know Intellectual Property also know Patent Prosecution.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

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


Patent Attorneys with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $117K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $158K. Patent Attorneys who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $178K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $190K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $142,296

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

For Patent Attorneys, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 19 percent above the national average. Patent Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+19 percent), New York (+14 percent), Atlanta (+12 percent), and Philadelphia (+8 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Raleigh is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Workers in Irvine and Detroit earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (13 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Patent Attorney

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
▲33%

▲25%

▲11%

National Average
$142,000

▼18%

Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries

Patent
▲8%


Prosecution
▲1%

National Average
$142,000

Legal Research
▼7%

Patents
▼17%

Patent Prosecution
▼34%

Technical Writing
▼42%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 58%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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