Summary: A patent attorney specializes on patent law issues of all types, performing various tasks from navigating the application process to defending the client against claims of violation. Patent attorneys interact most with product developers and investors who want to get a patent.
Duties: A patent attorney uses his skills, knowledge and experience in dealing with clients in need of patenting assistance. A patent attorney consults with his/her clients that would like to have their invention/newly designed product patented. He/she then conducts a patent research to determine if other individuals, companies or industries have already patented similar products. The patent attorney then prepares all application paperwork and ensures his/her client is ready for the litigation process, which would protect his clients from facing patent violations or any other legal issues that may arise. The patent attorney also makes sure that the product he applies for a patent is filed to avoid all court issues in the future.
Education and Training Requirements: In order for anyone to be a patent attorney, one must have a bachelor’s degree in any field, but business courses are more favorable. He also must have attended law school. He must also have taken courses in computer science, physics and engineering. He then should be ready to take and pass a bar exam that will determine whether he is ready to practice his expertise. Individual clients usually hire entry-level patent attorneys, but larger companies may require those with work experience.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: To be a successful patent attorney, one must be very detailed oriented. The grasp of the language must be exceptional and a patent attorney must have the capability to express technical and complicated information both orally and verbally. A patent attorney must spend his career in learning the ins and outs of patent law.
Working Conditions: Patent attorneys are usually seen working in corporations, law firms and government offices. A patent attorney spends long hours studying and researching in a library or an office, researching cases, laws and patent filings. A patent attorney works long hours, at least 50 hours a week. He may need to travel in order to hold meetings with his clients.
Salary: The average salary for a patent attorney is $120,000 annually.