Generous salaries abound for Patent Attorneys in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($131K) per year. Total cash compensation to Patent Attorneys approaches anywhere from $79K on the lower end to $209K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $38K from bonuses and upwards of $18K from profit sharing. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Patent Attorneys who answered the questionnnaire. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Read More
$77,050 - $195,484
(Median)
$77K
$130K
$200K
MEDIAN: $130,915
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$25.34 - $295.90
(Median)
$25
$50
$300
MEDIAN: $50
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$77,050 - $195,484  
   
Bonus
$2,056 - $38,477  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $18,262  
Commission
$1,000  
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).
)
$79,203 - $209,044  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 377
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$100$200$300
Hourly Rate
$25.34 - $295.90  
   
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$200K$400K$600K
Bonus
$2,056 - $38,477  
   
Commission
$1,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $18,262  
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).
)
$79,203 - $209,044  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 11
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Employers: Start Here »

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

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Patent Attorney


Patent Attorneys report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Patent, Prosecution, Intellectual Property, and Patents 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. Those educated in Intellectual Property tend to be well versed in Patent Prosecution.

Pay by Experience Level for Patent Attorney

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


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $117K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $159K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Patent Attorneys bring in $175K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $182K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $138,807

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

San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Patent Attorneys, 22 percent above the national average. Patent Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+17 percent), Seattle (+15 percent), Atlanta (+15 percent), and Chicago (+13 percent). Irvine ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 11 percent below the national average. Employers in Detroit and Denver also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Employers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Patent Attorney Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 31%

Experienced
up arrow 26%


National Average
$139,000


Skills That Affect Patent Attorney Salaries

Patent
up arrow 13%

Prosecution
up arrow 4%

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 1%

National Average
$139,000

Patents
up arrow 10%

Patent Prosecution
up arrow 16%

Technical Writing
up arrow 40%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 34 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 58%
dental benefits
None: 13%
ADVERTISEMENT