Patent Lawyer

Apply for and protect patents on behalf of your clients.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$75,000 – $165,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Patent Lawyers do?

Houses, cars, and watches are all considered personal property. Ideas, products, and manufacturing techniques are also considered property, when they’re protected by a patent. A Patent Lawyer helps clients apply for a patent, and defends that patent in court if necessary.

If you’re a Patent Lawyer, when clients come to visit you, you interview them and find out about the idea they’d like to protect with a patent. You research that idea, making sure nobody else has already protected it.

Once done with your research, you fill out patent paperwork, and file it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This paperwork can be extremely complicated, so you fill out each section with care. You drink many, many cups of coffee to help you stay alert and aware.

Clients may also notify you if they think a patent they hold is being violated. For example, they may spot a duplicate of a product they have patented, or they may discover that another company is using their processes without paying royalties. In such cases, as a Patent Lawyer, you file a suit on behalf of your clients to try to get the other companies to stop violating the patent, and to recover lost money for your clients.

If the case goes to court, you present the patent for the Judge to see. You talk about how the other company is breaking the patent law, and may ask for compensation from the other party. You keep a sharp business outfit on hand for these courtroom sessions.

Should I be a Patent Lawyer?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Partner, Patent Solicitor, Solicitor, Patent

    How to become a Patent Lawyer

    Most Patent Lawyers have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaf9&chl=||||master%27s+%288%25%29|doctorate+%2892%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,92
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