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Patent Attorney Salary (United States)

Compensation for Patent Attorneys in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($137K). With some bonuses approaching $36K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $27K, overall incomes of Patent Attorneys spread between $79K and $222K depending on individual performance. Residence and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men make up the vast majority of Patent Attorneys (87 percent) who took the survey. A large number enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to around half. The majority of Patent Attorneys claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Patent Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$77,334 - $196,325
(Median)
77K
100K
130K
160K
200K
MEDIAN: $130,450
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Patent Attorney Salary (?
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.
)
$20.27 - $194.89
(Median)
20
50
100
190
MEDIAN: $50
10%
50%
75%
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
$77,334 - $196,325  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $36,101  
Profit Sharing
$1,935 - $27,000  
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).
)
$79,072 - $221,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 638
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
$20.27 - $194.89  
   
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 - $36,101  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,935 - $27,000  
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).
)
$79,072 - $221,927  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 21
Is Patent Attorney your job title? Get a personalized salary report!
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Location:
Years in Field/Career:
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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.
Read More...
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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Typical Patent Attorneys report a focused set of job skills. Intellectual Property and Prosecution are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 11 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Annually raking in $117K, the average professional in this position sees a six-figure salary within the first five years. Patent Attorneys bring in $178K after working for 10 to 20 years. Patent Attorneys who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $177K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 37%
Chicago
up arrow 19%
Philadelphia
up arrow 14%
Boston
up arrow 13%
Washington
up arrow 11%
Atlanta
up arrow 10%
Seattle
up arrow 7%
San Jose
up arrow 2%
New York
up arrow 1%
Houston
up arrow 1%
National Average
$137,000
Cleveland
up arrow 6%
Minneapolis
up arrow 7%
Dallas
up arrow 10%
San Diego
up arrow 12%
Los Angeles
up arrow 13%
Larger circles over a city 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 37 percent. Patent Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+19 percent), Philadelphia (+14 percent), Boston (+13 percent), and Washington (+11 percent). Falling short of the national average by 13 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Los Angeles. Workers in San Diego and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (12 percent less and 10 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 30%
Late-Career
up arrow 29%
Mid-Career
up arrow 11%
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 Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 102 votes.

Gender

Female
13%
female alumni
 
Male
87%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 65%
vision benefits Vision: 48% employee benefits None: 12%