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Career As A Patent Attorney

Who is a Patent Attorney?

A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition

What does a Patent Attorney do?

Patent Lawyers are specialists in intellectual property, trademarks, design rights, copyright laws and patents. They represent creators or companies in the patent application process, assist with patent infringement and act as litigators to protect their client's rights to an invention.

Career prospects-

Once qualified, the usual route in private practice is to go on to become a partner of a firm. There may be an intermediary 'associate' step before partnership in some firms.

You may decide to specialise in a certain area of patents, such as chemical patents, or choose to spend time helping the firm expand and develop. However, you'll still be expected to make a significant contribution towards patent work.

In large companies, the usual route for progression is to a managerial position. This may mean you spend less time on actual patent work and more time guiding and advising colleagues, dealing with personnel matters and budget issues.

It's also possible to become a self-employed patent attorney, either taking on freelance work or setting up your own patent agency. Alternatively, you could choose to develop your career by becoming a patent examiner working for the IPO, examining patent applications from the other side.

What is the workplace of a Patent Attorney like?

Patent attorneys are typically employed by:

  • law firms in private practice

  • the law department of large industrial companies

  • government departments.

Most private practices have websites where you can find out more about the size of the firm and whether they cover any areas of special interest. Clients in private practice can include:

  • individuals

  • large companies

  • start-up companies

  • universities and research organisations.

Industrial employers include manufacturers of every kind of product, from food to heavy industrial processing equipment, and from biotechnology to the automotive industry. Patent attorneys will work on any patent issues relating to the products that these employers produce.

A small number of patent attorneys are employed by government departments such as the Ministry of Defence (MoD).


These will depend, to some extent, on whether you're advising private clients or employed by a large organisation to protect their products.

However, you'll need to:

  • discuss inventions and processes with inventors or manufacturers and ascertain whether they're likely to succeed in being granted patents

  • analyse scientific or technical documents, including previously granted patents, to assess whether an invention is new and innovative

  • write detailed technical descriptions of inventions in precise legal terms (patent drafts)

  • suggest modifications or extensions to the definition of the invention

  • prepare responses to reports from patent examiners

  • ensure application and renewal deadlines are met

  • work with solicitors and barristers to defend or enforce patents

  • advise overseas attorneys on applications for foreign patent applications

  • instruct on whether business activities will infringe someone else's patent rights

  • deal with assignments of patent when a patent is sold or transferred

  • keep up to date with legal developments in the intellectual property field

  • advise on other intellectual property rights, e.g. designs or trade marks

  • tutor and mentor trainee patent attorneys.


You'll need to have:

  • an understanding of scientific and technological principles and processes in order to understand the invention yourself and be able to explain it to others

  • communication skills, particularly written skills, in order to convince the IPO that a patent should be granted

  • the ability to express complex technical ideas clearly and concisely

  • an eye for detail and an analytical mind

  • interpersonal skills for dealing with clients

  • the ability to structure a precise, coherent argument

  • confidence and tenacity

  • a willingness to get to grips with legal and commercial arguments

  • self-motivation and the ability to manage your own workload

  • time management skills

  • a readiness to take responsibility.


  • an ability to conceptualize complex matters

  • an analytical and problem-solving mindset

  • an eye for detail

  • commercial acumen

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • strong organisational and time management skills

Professional development in personality

Once qualified, you must complete a certain amount of continuing professional development (CPD) every year. This can include attending seminars and webinars on particular areas of patent work and intellectual property law run by relevant organisations, as well as seminars to help develop your business skills when running a practice and other activities such as teaching work, examining and tutoring.


If you want to handle all aspects of Patents like→

Patent Prior Search → Patent Drafting including(illustrations) →Publication of the Application → Examination Request→ Reply/Responds to Objections → Clear the objections → Finally Grant of Patent including Patent Litigation.

then you need Degree in Engineering, Science and Technology plus Degree in Law and also registration in Advocate Act, 1961 in India is must.


How do you become a patent attorney?

Prospective patent lawyers typically earn either a 4-year degree in a field of science like chemistry, biology or physics or a technical degree in electrical, civil, mechanical or biomedical engineering. Patent lawyers are required to complete a law program from an accredited law school and pass a state bar exam

Job outlook

The job prospects for patent lawyers are quite good. With the development in science and technology and the focus of organizations on innovation, more and more inventions will happen. This will lead to a growth in employment opportunities for patent attorneys. Patent attorneys, passing out from reputed schools and having specialization in certain areas, are likely to get better job opportunities. Competition for the job of a patent attorney will be keen owing to a growing number of law students opting for this career. The job of a patent attorney is an intellectually satisfying career option.


An entry-level Patent Attorney with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹723,482 based on 5 salaries. An early career Patent Attorney with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹698,384 based on 17 salaries. A mid-career Patent Attorney with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹1,220,838 based on 9 salaries. An experienced Patent Attorney with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of ₹1,600,000 based on 8 salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a patent attorney in India? Who is a patent agent?

1. Be a citizen of India;

2. Have completed the age of 21 years;

3. Have obtained a degree in science, engineering or technology from any University established under law for the time being in force in the territory of India.

4. Have passed the qualifying exam prescribed for the purpose

What makes a good Patent Attorney?

Patent Attorneys work with technically complex and fascinating cases. As well as a grounding in science and engineering and a good understanding on the relevant law, it's important for attorneys to be on top of innovation trends and understand entrepreneurial creativity

Do patent attorneys work long hours?

There is no special rule about patent attorneys. Some attorneys work hard, and some do not. Most attorneys work hard until their practice is stable, and it's as many hours as we can put in. Pretty common to work 50+ hour/week, but there are plenty of people who work more, and still others who take Fridays off.

How many years does it take to become a patent attorney?

Becoming a patent lawyer usually takes seven years of full-time study after high school—four years of undergraduate study, followed by three years of law school.

Are patent agents lawyers?

Patent agents are not lawyers, and thus they cannot give any legal advice. Specifically, they cannot give legal advice when it comes to licenses and possible infringements on already licensed patents. Attorneys are the only people who are able to draft contracts and other documents like non-disclosure agreements.

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