Patent Attorney Salary

Compensation for Patent Attorneys in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($131K). Overall cash earnings for Patent Attorneys stretch from $78K on the lower end to $216K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $35K from bonuses and $27K from profit sharing. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Male Patent Attorneys far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. For the most part, Patent Attorneys enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$77,320 - $195,498

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$20.13 - $195.74

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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$80K$160K$240K
Salary
$77,320 - $195,498  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,303  
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).
)
$78,470 - $215,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 630
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$70$140$210
Hourly Rate
$20.13 - $195.74  
   
Overtime
$46.18 - $101.74  
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$140K$280K$420K
Bonus
$0.00 - $35,303  
   
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).
)
$78,470 - $215,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 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.

Patent Attorney Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Patent Attorney


Patent Attorneys typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. Most notably, skills in Patents, Intellectual Property, Prosecution, and Patent Prosecution are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 10 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Technical Writing. Those proficient in Intellectual Property are, more often than not, also skilled in Patents.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Even the relatively untried can take home bulky six-figure salaries; employees who have worked for fewer than five years report earning $118K on average. Patent Attorneys bring in $177K after working for 10 to 20 years. Patent Attorneys with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $178K.

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Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$138,000


Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries

Patents
up arrow 10%


Prosecution
up arrow 4%

National Average
$138,000

Patent Prosecution
up arrow 1%

Technical Writing
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 78 votes.

Gender

Female
13 %
Male
87 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
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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