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Want to Become a Patent Attorney? Here’s How

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If you want to become a patent attorney and are desperate to find out how to make your dream come true congratulations – you have come to the right place! After reading this article, you will know everything you need to plan your future career, we will walk you through every step and answer all the questions you would like to ask. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a patent attorney.

What Do Patent Attorneys Do?

We bet, you are well familiar with the responsibilities of patent attorneys but just in case there are some doubts, here is a short description of what you are supposed to do as a patent attorney. By the way, when you know the specificities of this job, you will better understand certain requirements for education and personal abilities.

In a nutshell, patent attorneys provide protection for the intellectual property of their clients. They help patent inventions, if there is a need they prosecute provisional, utility, and design patent applications before the USPTO, negotiate the best licensing deals with third parties. If you need more details, feel free to click here and get comprehensive info firsthand. By and large, patent attorneys take care of pretty much everything related to patent registration and protection of IP.

If you want to become a patent attorney and are desperate to find out how to make your dream come true congratulations – you have come to the right place! After reading this article, you will know everything you need to plan your future career.Click To Tweet

Be ready to spend much time sitting at the office, discussing the options with your clients, and preparing applications. Communication with the patent office is also part of the plot, as well as visits to courts and meetings with representatives of respective authorities.

Education and Background

First of all, everyone who wants to become a patent attorney in the United States has to be a US citizen or legally reside in the country. In accordance with the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) rules, candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. Here is the list of the desired fields:

  • Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology

The word “desired” is used to leave a certain space for those of you who don’t have a bachelor’s degree in the subjects mentioned above. Such candidates are still eligible to apply but under one condition – they should be able to convince the patent office that your scientific and technical background is at the level that can match the one people have after completing a degree. 

The absence of a degree makes things a bit more complicated, that’s why the earlier you decide to get a job as a patent attorney, the better because in that case, you will have enough time to study the required subjects. Anyway, if now it’s too late to be sorry, you still have plenty of opportunities to reach your goals by completing certain courses or a combination of courses, of course, all of them are focused on chemistry, biology, physics, or engineering. 

Good Moral Standing

Despite what you may think, candidates who are looking to register with the USPTO need to have good moral standing (just like lawyers), which means the absence of dishonest behavior history or conviction for fraud. You got the idea.

How Long Does It Take?

The amount of time you will need to become a patent attorney depends directly on your education because to obtain a science or engineering degree, you need four and a half years. If you already have your bachelor’s degree in the aforementioned fields, then you won’t have to wait too long for your sought-after job – just another 4.5 years. To start with, you will need 6 months preparing for and passing the LSAT, then three and a half years to complete Law School, plus another 6 months to prepare for and pass the USPTO Registration examination or patent bar exam as it is commonly called. 

This exam consists of 90 questions and you should give correct answers to at least 63 of them, which is a minimum of 70%. Perhaps you have heard that this test is a 100 question exam but do not be confused with the difference in the number of questions. Candidates do have 100 questions to answer but only 90 of them are counted towards the final score as 10 are just included for the purpose of beta testing.


To become a patent attorney, you need a science or engineering degree (or an adequate number of science classes), a law degree, and, finally, you have to pass the Patent Bar exam. It is a viable and rewarding career that brings one of the highest salaries among attorneys.

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