Career Definition of a Patent Analyst
Patent analysts review potential patent applications. They may also work for companies that are developing products and may assess proposed products to determine whether or not they could be patented. They are responsible for doing a lot of investigative work to determine if comparable items are currently patented or if patents for similar items are pending approval. They need to ensure that a patent application will not face legal repercussions.
It's common for patent analysts to work with a lot of scientific data and they need to be aware of the latest trends and research initiatives. Once they have done the research related to a proposed patent application, they must present their conclusions to their employer or clients. They can also help businesses identify patents that they are interested in. Companies looking to develop new products can seek out patent holders to buy the rights to manufacture and distribute their product.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Computer skills, scientific knowledge, analytical skills, research skills, communication skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$72,187|
Patent analysts must have a bachelor's degree, though most employers prefer advanced degrees. They can prepare for this career by completing studies in a wide range of fields, including medicine, computer science, life sciences, and engineering. Since many careers in this field involve scientific developments, earning a degree in science or a relevant engineering field may be the best way to prepare. Once they've completed a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering field, prospective patent analysts can take the Patent Bar Exam to become registered patent analysts. While this is not required to become a patent analyst, it may appeal to prospective employers, and some employers prefer applicants who are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Patent analysts need analytical skills because they need to be able to review and assess large quantities of data and information effectively. They may collaborate with technical analysts and interact with clients, so they need to have good communication skills. They also need communication skills to document their findings. Research skills are essential because they must effectively determine if there are comparable patents pending in order to make recommendations about patent applications. Since they use computers to locate data and produce documents, they need to have strong computer skills.
Career Outlook and Salary
Patent analysts can work in the legal field or may work in product development for scientific companies. They may also find employment with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Glassdoor.com reported in 2017 that the median annual income for patent analysts was $72,187.
There are careers that involve working with patents in other capacities, occupations that utilize the analytical skills that patent analysts utilize, and occupations that involve creating products. Individuals who are interested in becoming a patent analyst may also be interested in exploring all of these career options.