A Patent Attorney is Licensed to Practice all Aspects of Patent Law

This includes:

  • preparing and filing patent applications
  • prosecuting applications through the complex examination process in the Patent Office
  • represent parties in all proceedings in the Patent Office
  • providing legal opinions regarding patents, such as patentability and infringement/non-infringement opinions
  • representing parties in patent litigation, such as patent enforcement and defense
  • negotiating and drafting patent transactions, such as license agreements and assignment agreements
  • conducting patent due diligence
  • managing and maintaining patent portfolios

Being fully licensed lawyer, a Patent Attorney can also practice in almost all other areas of law. However, most Patent Attorneys focus their practice on patents or intellectual property.

Becoming a Patent Attorney is Challenging

A patent attorney must:

  • earn a degree in a technical subject, such as engineering, chemistry or physics. This helps us understand technically challenging inventions. Most other lawyers have little or no formal technical education.
  • be admitted to at least one state bar. This generally requires:
    • graduate from an accredited law school
    • pass a state bar examination
    • pass an ethics examination
    • pass a moral character background investigation
    • complete annual continuing legal education classes
    • abide by professional rules of conduct, such as client confidentiality and conflict of interest rules
  • pass a federally administered patent examination
  • abide by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office professional rules of conduct

Not all lawyers who work with patents are Patent Attorneys. Make sure you know what you are getting. See also Patent Agent.