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Qualifications for becoming a Patent Lawyer and Job Duties

Updated on May 30, 2013

Patent lawyers are also known as intellectual property (IP) lawyers. They deal with the law revolving around intellectual property that specifically focuses on patents. As a patent lawyer, you will be representing inventors at the time of the patent application process. Apart from this, functioning as a litigator in order to secure the rights of your clients (inventors) is involved in your job description.

As we have mentioned in the title of this blog post, we will find out about the qualifications necessary for a patent lawyer’s job in the following:


A degree in law is a must since you will be venturing into a lawyer’s profession. After completing the law degree from a recognised law school, you need to sit for a bar examination. You wish to specialise in patent law therefore, it is useful to gain detailed knowledge about this area of law. Supplementing university education is the most important step you can take to shape a bright career in any field. However, some other academic qualifications are also essential to succeed. A four-year bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry or biology or a technical specialisation with a degree in electrical, mechanical or civil engineering is helpful.

IP law is complex and experiences amendments constantly. Therefore, if you keep yourself updated with the current patent law through ongoing education courses, success will await you as a patent lawyer.

Although a master’s degree is not mandatory, having this advanced degree will definitely boost your chances to get the best of the intellectual property jobs available. A master’s degree or LLM in IP law will keep you ahead of other candidates.

Apart from English, German and French are the official languages of European Patent Office or EPO. Knowledge about these two languages often features on the criteria list for patent lawyer jobs. Like the post-graduation certificate, this is also not compulsory but if you are armed with at least, the reading knowledge of these two languages, you will place yourself in a better position in your career.


After the credentials, your prospective employer will like you demonstrate certain professional and interpersonal skills. They are listed in the following:

  • A good understanding of the technological and scientific principles
  • An up-to-date knowledge of the latest amendments in patent law
  • Capability to interpret complicated technical ideas eloquently
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to present a well-defined and articulate argument
  • People skills
  • Team-working skills
  • Ability to work independently and take up responsibilities
  • Convincing skills
  • Confidence and perseverance

Well, our discussion regarding the requirements for becoming a patent lawyer comes to an end. Now, we will focus on the duties and responsibilities performed by such legal professionals.

Duties of a Patent Lawyer

The process of application for a patent is a complex one and an expert only knows how to make handle the process easily. The expert here is a patent lawyer who is proficient in interpreting the rules and regulations of the patent process, negotiating contracts, filing documents and offering legal representation to the clients i.e. the inventors.

As a patent lawyer, you will be involved in every aspect of law encompassing patents and the IP rights of the inventors. The most important responsibility of a patent lawyer is to make sure that a creation has not been represented in the public domain earlier. Drafting, filing and prosecuting applications for patent for inventors are the other duties of a patent lawyer.

As long as there are creations and inventions, the demand for patent lawyers will never take a downturn. So, if you have chosen this field as your career, the good news is you will never face recession.


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