A patent engineer or patent scientist is a patent professional who is typically involved in preparing and prosecuting patent applications. The terms are usually applied to patent professionals with scientific or engineering backgrounds that do not require either attorney or patent agent qualifications, but still work with patent applications. In general, the position involves many of the technical aspects of patent prosecution, including doing background and prior art searches, drafting the specifications and preparing reference figures for patent applications, and giving technical expertise during invention evaluation. Positions of this nature may focus a great deal on research and development while including patent considerations, emphasizing their technical background rather than legal or patent agent qualification.
Who is Patent Engineer?
A software Engineer develops and maintains software, Electronics Engineer deals with electronics gadgets, similarly, Patent Engineer deals with patent prosecution and maintenance. A software Engineer develops and maintains software, Electronics Engineer deals with electronics gadgets, similarly, Patent Engineer deals with patent prosecution and maintenance.
A Patent Engineer is a person who:
• Understands technology
• Finds old technologies already known to public
• Drafts application carefully
• Files application
• Convinces patent office for getting a patent
• Identifies economic asset
• Protects invention from counterfeits and fake products
• Role of Patent Engineer in a firm
Understanding client: Application drafting is impossible without meeting and understanding the client’s invention. The Patent Engineer performs this task as he is supposed to draft the application.
Creating application: Indian patent law restricts the patentability of certain inventions like software, business methods etc. Application should be drafted according to those rules.
Managing complete team: This professional generally manages Patents department. Main duties are:
• Designating different steps of prosecution to right team
• Keeping check on completion of activities
Coordination with rest of the team: Patent Engineer studies trends of the current market. For proper functioning of several departments, Analysis report generated by patent engineer is important.
Where do Patent Engineers work?
Patent Engineers are commonly seen in the innovation industry. Inventors & Patent Engineers play significant role in these companies.
‘Inventors invent and patent engineers protect’
The companies innovate and hire professionals to work on these inventions. As discussed earlier, Patent Engineer will draft application to be field in patent office. Also, he will protect application from infringement.
A patent engineer usually works for a patent attorney or agent to assist with preparing and prosecuting patent applications. A patent engineer has at least a bachelor’s degree and will often have a masters or even a PhD (particularly in life sciences). Notably, they do not have a law degree or patent agent qualifications, though they will often work towards getting one of those credentials once they start in the profession. The most common tasks they perform are prior art searches and drafting initial patent specifications that describe the invention in detail. It is also common for patent engineers to assist the inventor with technical aspects of the invention that may not be fully fleshed out yet, though they rarely get formal credit for doing so.
In the Silicon Valley area patent engineers are in high demand. The salaries are in the range of $80-100K, and go up quickly with experience. Law firms generally pay better. Taking the patent bar to become a patent agent is a common next step, and results in a $30-40K increase in pay.
Scope of this career
A Patent Engineer can earn better than other Engineering professions. Let’s take example of Software Engineers:
• Starting salary of Software Engineer will vary from 14,000 to 22,500 per month whereas Patent Engineer can easily get starting package of 3 lakhs.