How Much Do Patent Attorneys Make?


Manufacturers and inventors couldn't protect their rights to their products effectively without the help of patent, or intellectual property, lawyers. Patent lawyers help companies complete the application process for patents, ensuring their products don't infringe on the rights of others with respect to names, formulas and features. Salaries for patent lawyers vary, depending on experience and where they work.

Earnings Top $100,000

  • The job site Indeed reported average annual salaries of $106,000 for patent attorneys as of 2014. Patent attorneys, as do other lawyers, typically spend seven years earning bachelor’s and juris doctor (J.D.) degrees. After graduating from law school, these attorneys must pass the American Bar Association and United States Patent and Trademark Office exams to practice in their state

Widest Pay Variance in West

  • In 2014, low and high salaries for patent attorneys varied by $48,000 in the West region, according to Indeed, which was the widest difference in compensation among all four U.S. regions. In the West, they earned $66,000 to $114,000 in Hawaii and California, respectively. Employers in the South paid patent attorneys more on average, with a high of $133,000 in Washington, D.C., and a low of $93,000 in Louisiana.

More In-House Lawyers Needed

  • Employment for all lawyers is expected to increase by 10 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this represents an average growth rate, more corporations are hiring lawyers, including patent lawyers, to save on the high costs of using law firms. Jobs for lawyers tend to fluctuate with the economy, as employers increase hiring during stronger economic periods.

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