How to Become a Patent Attorney

Patent attorneys are experienced legal professionals who are specialized in representing clients who wish to copyright an idea or a product.

Patents and copyrights can be an important legal step for individuals who have an idea or product they wish to protect from others who can steal or copy their idea.

Once a patent or copyright has been approved, individuals owning intellectual property will be protected from copycats offering the same product or idea.

Individuals who to become a Patent Attorney will need a combination of personal characteristics, educational requirements and a license in order to enter this profession.

Some helpful characteristics to have can include the following: analytical skills, ability to speak in front of groups, researching skills and interpersonal skills.

Education Requirements to Become a Patent Attorney

Individuals who want to become a Patent Attorney will need several years of education in order to enter this profession.

Individuals will need to complete a bachelor’s degree and finish 3 years of law school and attain a juris doctor (J.D.) degree.

Individuals will also need to become licensed and gain some practical experience in order to remain competitive amongst other professionals.

There is no specific major an individual needs to attain in order to become a Patent Attorney.

However, there are some useful skills and areas of study individuals are encouraged to focus on to prepare them for law school.

Some of these useful courses include: mathematics, economics, history, government, public speaking and English courses.

Individuals will need to have high grades and pass the entry exam, the LSAT in order to be accepted into an accredited law school.

Visit the American Bar Association ABA for a list of accredited law schools.

An accredited J.D.

law program takes approximately 3 years to complete.

During a typical law program, individuals will study many aspects of law and its history.

Some common courses may include the following:

  • Legal writing
  • Civil procedure
  • Property law
  • Contracts
  • Constitutional law

Depending on the law program, individuals may also have the option to take specialized courses such as corporate law, tax law or labor laws.

Individuals are encouraged to review the curriculum offered through by their programs to determine if they offer courses in patent law.

The next step is for individuals to secure a license from their state in order to practice law.

This is most commonly referred to as “passing the bar” exam which is typically a two day exam that tests individuals in their legal knowledge.

In addition, individuals are encouraged to complete an internship to gain job experience.

Patent Attorney Job Description

Patent Attorneys meet and work with clients who have developed and created a product or service that needs protection against copycats.

Clients who need legal representation may also own intellectual property, that is, a written work, ideas, manuscripts or designs.

Because patent and copyright laws are complicated, Patent Attorneys are responsible for gathering a wealth of information during the research process that will be used to fully represent their client.

They will use information gathered from their research to help clients apply for patent applications.

Patent Attorney Salary and Career Path

The median salary in 2012 for all attorneys, including Patent Attorneys was approximately $113,530 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including years of experience, specialization and the industry an individual works in.

Some Patent Attorneys can earn up towards $260,000 per year; while individuals in the finance and insurance sector have the highest median annual salary of approximately $134,940.

The job outlook for all attorneys is expected to grow by approximately 10 percent.

This job growth is considered a faster than average growth when compared to other professions.

This growth is attributed to the demand coming from businesses and individuals who require legal services.

This growth will also be impacted by the staffing cuts by some legal firms in efforts to stay competitive.

Patent Attorneys take several years to complete the educational and training requirements needed to enter this profession.

However, individuals interested in this field can rest assured that this career provides the opportunity to be challenged providing legal help to individuals wanting to protect their intellectual property from individuals eager to duplicate their talents.

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