What does a patent lawyer do?
Patent lawyers focus on patent law and represent clients on a variety of issues such as wishing to obtain patents and filing oppositions. They provide legal advice to inventors, manufacturers, and investors regarding patents of products, validity of patents, infringement of patents, and a variety of other issues. They help clients prepare patent applications and sent them to the U.S. Patent Office. Patent lawyers often prosecute or defend individuals in patent infringement litigations. They obtain the necessary information and evidence and conduct research on past cases to build a viable case.
What kind of training does a patent lawyer need?
Patent lawyers must have a bachelor degree and law degree from an accredited law school. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law school provides intensive instruction and offers a variety of practical learning experiences. Most law schools require students to complete an internship before graduation. Many aspiring patent lawyers complete internships or clerkships at firms that specialize in patent law to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. All states require patent lawyers to pass the written bar examination to become licensed to practice law. Patent lawyers must also pass the patent bar examination. Many patent lawyers become registered and recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a patent lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including patent lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in patents on a variety of products will drive job growth of patent lawyers
Job prospects are expected to be very good with keen competition. Patent lawyers with extensive experience and excellent academic records will have the best job opportunities.
How much do patent lawyers make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for patent lawyers is $117,000; average annual patent lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a patent lawyer is a great choice for people with a strong interest in patent law and providing representation and legal advice to a variety of clients. Patent lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, rules, and regulations related to patent law. Patience, perseverance, analytical thinking, and good problem solving skills are essential characteristics. Patent lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of clients and other legal professionals.