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Patent Agents

Overview

Patent agents help people through the process of patent applications and filings. Inventors apply for patents to protect their rights to their invention; the government issues patents that exclude others from using or selling the invention for a specified time period. The difference between a patent attorney and patent agent is that patent attorneys have a law degree, which enables them to represent patent litigation and patent infringement cases and they can prosecute patent cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent agents can also prosecute patent cases before the USPTO, but they cannot represent clients in a court of law because they do not have a law degree. They must pass an exam by the USPTO to be registered as a patent agent. According to the USPTO, as of October 2016, there are 11,232 active patent agents employed in the United States.

Salary Range

$50,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree

Certification/License

Required

Outlook

About as Fast as the Average
Personality Traits

Organized

Scientific

Technical

Career Ladder
Senior Patent Agent

Patent Agent

Assistant Patent Agent

Internship