Intellectual Property (IP) Analyst: Job Description & Salary

Intellectual property analysts work behind the scenes but inform business decisions that can determine which products are manufactured and which potential inventions are abandoned. This article looks at this career in greater detail.

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Career Definition of an Intellectual Property Analyst

Before legal protections can be put in place for things such as inventions there are a lot of steps that must be taken, and many of these involve the work of an intellectual property (IP) analyst. Intellectual property analysts spend a lot of time doing research. When a client hires them they may have a number of objectives. They may want to have a specific project evaluated to determine if patents for comparable products exist. The information that an intellectual property analyst provides about comparable patents or products can help clients make decisions about whether or not to modify a product or abandon development.

In some cases, intellectual property analysts may recommend a different form of legal protection, such as a license. By evaluating the competition for a specific project, intellectual property analysts can help companies make financial decisions. They recommend projects to invest in and they may also identify opportunities to save research money by purchasing an existing similar patent. When appropriate, they may be able to identify opportunities for companies to sell patents. In order to effectively advise their clients they need to be able to complete comprehensive research related to their clients' projects and they must be capable of effectively evaluating that information.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Customer service skills, communication skills, analytical skills, decision-making skills, investigative skills
Median Salary (2017)* $69,540
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 23% (market research analysts)

Sources: *PayScale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

In order to pursue a career as an intellectual property analyst it's necessary to earn a bachelor's degree. The field of study largely depends on the field in which the (IP) analyst works. Those working in technology would benefit from a degree in engineering, while those working in pharmaceuticals would benefit from a degree in medicine/science. In some cases legal studies may benefit those who are pursuing this type of work. All IP analysts must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Required Skills

Intellectual property analysts work for clients so they must have good customer service skills. They also need communication skills in order to be able to effectively present their conclusions to clients. They use research skills to gather the information they need to inform their decisions and they must have strong analytical skills to comprehensively evaluate this data. Decision-making skills are needed to produce recommendations for their clients.

Career Outlook and Salary

PayScale reported a median annual income of $69,540 for intellectual property analysts in 2017. Intellectual property analysts perform many tasks that are similar to the duties of market research analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this occupational field to see a 23% rate of job growth from 2016-2026.

Related Careers

Since intellectual property analysts help clients make decisions about securing patents or investing in new products, those considering this career field may also be interested in other roles that involve advising investors or securing patents. Links to information about some similar careers can be found here.

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