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Patent Attorney Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Patent Attorneys in the United States, with median pay hovering around $132K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $36K and $27K, respectively — total cash payment to Patent Attorneys can bottom out near $79K or peak near $218K depending on individual performance. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and more than half earn dental coverage. Most Patent Attorneys report high levels of job satisfaction. Men make up the vast majority of Patent Attorneys (87 percent) who took the survey. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$76,943 - $195,797
(Median)
$77K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $131,761
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
$76,943 - $195,797  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,797  
Profit Sharing
$357.45 - $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).
)
$79,229 - $218,023  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 627
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 - $35,797  
   
Profit Sharing
$357.45 - $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).
)
$79,229 - $218,023  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 20

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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

  • 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 typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Intellectual Property and Prosecution are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 9 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Intellectual Property and Patent Prosecution are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

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


Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $119K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $152K. Patent Attorneys see a median salary of $177K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make about the same as folks in the 10-to-20 year range.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

National Average
$139,000


Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries


Prosecution
up arrow 4%

National Average
$139,000

Patent Prosecution
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 95 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
19%
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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