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Patent Attorney Salary Facts & Charts

The average patent attorney salary as shown by in 2005 is $115,000. In a survey conducted by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the average patent attorneys salary was much higher than those reported by PayScale. According to AIPLA, the average salary of their members (all patent practitioners) was over $180,000 a year.

At the top of the pay scale are partners in private firms who reportedly earn about $300,000 a year according to statistics by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) in a survey of its members.

Associates in private firms will make considerably less. The AIPLA reports that its associates earn an average of $125,000 a year during their first year. PayScale reports that the average starting salary for a patent attorney with between 1 and 4 year of experience is $100,000 a year.


Patent Attorney Description and Salary


Keep in mind that you do need a background in science and engineering to become a patent attorney. For this reason, many attorneys lack the credentials to practice patent law, which is one reason why the field is more in-demand than many other legal areas of practice.

A Bachelors degree in science or engineering will meet the criteria to take the patent bar exam, but many firms will expect a higher degree (i.e. graduate work) along with experience. In addition to writing and prosecuting patent applications, as a patent attorney, you may also prepare for infringement cases and offer legal advice concerning litigation.


At a Glance' Chart of Salaries for Patent Attorneys


Patent attorney average base salary $80 - 105,000
Average patent attorney salary $115 - 150,000
Average patent attorney partner salary $200 - 275,000

This chart is only an estimation based on a compilation of reports and salary estimates. You may make significantly less or more based on your experience, background, and factors pertaining to the position you gain.


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