Patent Attorney

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Patent attorneys help their clients or employers to secure and protect their patents, and other intellectual property rights. A patent provides an inventor with exclusive rights to the profits from their invention for a limited time.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Generally trainees start on around £35,100 increasing to between £40,900 and £45,000 when partially qualified. Newly qualified attorneys earn between £58,800 and £67,000. For those with 2-3 years post qualification salaries are between £69,700 and £80,000 and 4-5 years post qualification £78,000 and £100,000, sometimes more. However, competition for posts means that trainees may be offered salaries of around £20,000 a year, or less. For partners, salaries can range from £115,200 to £140,000 a year.

Freelance patent attorneys can earn around £50.00 an hour.

There may also be performance related bonuses.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

As this is a small profession entry can be competitive. Patent attorneys work in private practice and patent departments in industry or government. Jobs are advertised on the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) website.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:


Getting On

More Information

The IP Careers website has a lot of information on getting into intellectual property careers.



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
Tel: 020 7405 9450
Twitter: @TheCIPA

There is a section on the website called 'Patent attorney as a career'. There is also a job vacancies section on the site.

Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA)
Tel: 020 7101 6090
Twitter: @CITMAuk

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Twitter: @Skills_Justice

Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.

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Career Area


Career Sectors

Law (Professional)

Legal Support Services

Patent Work

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Patent Attorney Patent Examiner

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