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(Message started by: CaryNC on Oct 12th, 2006, 2:53pm)

Title: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by CaryNC on Oct 12th, 2006, 2:53pm
Can anyone provide information as to current, reliable salary survey information, including geographic, for Patent Agents employed inside private law firms?

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by Tricia Liu on Oct 13th, 2006, 2:38pm
I happen to be doing some research on becoming a patent agent. I read from multiple sources saying that in the coastal areas, patent agents command $150/hour, while patent lawyer do for $200-$300/hour.

But I do not know if it is easier to find a good job as a patent agent or patent paralegal? It is very easy for me to pass the bar exam as a patent agent due to my experience. However, if that means harder to find a job than being a senior paralegal, it's not worth the time.

Do you have any ideas?

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by Isaac on Oct 13th, 2006, 3:46pm

on 10/13/06 at 14:38:53, Tricia Liu wrote:
But I do not know if it is easier to find a good job as a patent agent or patent paralegal? It is very easy for me to pass the bar exam as a patent agent due to my experience. However, if that means harder to find a job than being a senior paralegal, it's not worth the time.

Do you have any ideas?


I'm not sure that the difference in difficulty in finding a job alone is the best criteria for making this decision.  If the exam is easy for you, then it can be said that for a few hundred dollars and a little elbow grease you qualify for a chance at a higher paying job without disqualifying yourself for a paralegal position.  Yes it is true that the chance might not pan out or that there can be some delay in when it might pan out.

One way of quantifying the decision would be to compare the cost to obtain a patent agent credential (your time plus a few hundred dollars) to your probability of landing a patent agent position multiplied by the possible increase in earnings (perhaps converted to a present value).

In your case the costs are small and the potential increase in salary appears to be significant (I don't know for sure but I'm guessing so), so that even a small chance in finding a job could justify the risk.

Example calc.  400 dollars to take the exam compared to a 5% chance of obtaining 10k more in salary?   Using my formula, the rational choice would be to take the exam.

We don't have enough information to actually make the calculation of course, but I think the theory does suggest the correct way of making the decision.


Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by Wiscagent on Oct 14th, 2006, 8:06am
Tricia Liu wrote "... I read from multiple sources saying that in the coastal areas, patent agents command $150/hour, while patent lawyer do for $200-$300/hour."

$150/hr X 2000 hr/yr = $300,000/yr
$200/hr X 2000 hr/yr = $400,000/yr
$300/hr X 2000 hr/yr = $600,000/yr

Most patent attorneys and patent agents, whether coastal or inland, earn about one-third of these amounts.

Tricia - did you "read from multiple sources" and then just add up the amounts?

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by Isaac on Oct 14th, 2006, 8:35am
Maybe she was quoting billing rates rather than salaries.

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by ChrisWhewell on Oct 14th, 2006, 11:00pm

on 10/13/06 at 14:38:53, Tricia Liu wrote:
I happen to be doing some research on becoming a patent agent. I read from multiple sources saying that in the coastal areas, patent agents command $150/hour, while patent lawyer do for $200-$300/hour.

But I do not know if it is easier to find a good job as a patent agent or patent paralegal? It is very easy for me to pass the bar exam as a patent agent due to my experience. However, if that means harder to find a job than being a senior paralegal, it's not worth the time.

Do you have any ideas?



Well, you asked for it.....   My thought is that you should consider doing what you are most happy with doing, paying less attention to the cash.   If you want to maximize dollars in your pocket, you might find that this is not what makes you happy.  I know more than a few who mistakenly believed that if they maxed out on the money that all their life worries, etc will vaporize or never materialize.   My credo has always been enjoyment of helping other people achieve their goals, to the best of my ability, and the money is a secondary effect of helping others.  Often, those who seek money as an end are not very happy, and it eventualy affects their physical health.   We're in for some tough times ahead here.

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by DavidD on Oct 31st, 2006, 4:59pm
Hi everybody:

I just passed the bar exam and would like to do some research before making my next move (either get transferred to the IP department of my current employer or to go join a law firm).  I would need your help to gather information about the current salary range of patent agents with similar background.  My background: PhD in Molecular Biology, 4 years postdoctoral experience in medical research, plus seven years experience in a biotech company, currently in California.  Although I am co-inventor of two published patents as well as of at least a dozen of pending applications, but I have no real experience working as a patent agent.  
Can anyone provide information as to current, reliable salary range for Patent Agents employed either inside biotech firms and law firms?


Thanks in advance,

Title: Re: Patent Agent   Salary Surveys
Post by Wiscagent on Oct 31st, 2006, 6:26pm
“Can anyone provide information as to current, reliable salary range for Patent Agents employed either inside biotech firms and law firms?”

Sure, broad ranges - no problem.  Most patent agents employed either inside biotech firms or law firms earn from about $75,000 to about $150,000.

Unfortunately, better precision is difficult to achieve; and I haven’t seen such data.



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