The Salary of Patent Attorneys

The Salary of Patent Attorneys

Table of Contents

Types of Patent Attorneys

Patent attorneys are attorneys who are licensed to practice law and specialize in intellectual property law, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Patent attorneys must have a law degree and have passed the bar exam in the jurisdiction in which they practice. They must also pass the patent bar exam, a multiple-choice exam given by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The USPTO awards two types of patent licenses: patent attorneys and patent agents. Patent attorneys are licensed to practice law, so they can provide legal advice and represent their clients in court. Patent agents, on the other hand, are licensed only to practice before the USPTO. They can conduct patent searches and file patent applications, but cannot provide legal advice or represent their clients in court.

Patent Attorney Salaries

Patent attorneys are among the highest paid attorneys in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for lawyers, including patent attorneys, is $122,960 as of May 2017. The top 10 percent of lawyers, including patent attorneys, earn more than $208,000 per year.

The highest paid type of attorney is a corporate attorney. Corporate attorneys typically deal with legal issues related to business law, such as contracts, mergers, and acquisitions. The median annual salary for a corporate attorney is $144,230, with the top 10 percent earning more than $187,199.

Location and Pay Rates

Patent attorneys earn the most in California, where the median annual salary is $142,680. Other states with high salaries for patent attorneys include New York ($139,960), Massachusetts ($137,440), and Connecticut ($136,980).

Patent attorneys who work for the federal government, such as for the USPTO or the Department of Justice, can earn significantly higher salaries. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a lawyer working for the federal government is $138,590.

Do Patent Agents Make a Lot of Money?

Patent agents do not make as much as patent attorneys. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for patent agents is $103,010. The top 10% of patent agents make more than $158,210. Patent agents typically work in research and development, so they may have lower salaries than patent attorneys who work in private practice.

3 thoughts on “The Salary of Patent Attorneys”

  1. Patent Attorneys are rightly compensated for their highly specialized knowledge and experience. It’s an important and demanding job deserving of a fair salary.

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