Patent Scientist/Patent Attorney

Patent scientists (or patent attorneys) serve a unique role in large agricultural organizations that produce new products. Their responsibility is to evaluate patent (an exclusive right granted for an invention to keep others from making, using or selling that invention) validity on new products or services from both a legal and scientific perspective. They are responsible for drafting patent applications and following them through the patent process until they are accepted.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Manage intellectual property (creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary works, artistic works, designs and symbols) matters relating to a company’s products or creations
  • Assess if patent ideas are valid and new
  • Draft patent applications and submit them to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Provide infringement (violation of a patent owner’s rights) opinions and help to develop patent strategies
  • Prosecute patent applications and conduct opposition proceedings (challenging the validity of someone else’s patent)
  • Carefully inspect patent license documentation and potential acquisition opportunities
  • Control and manage the allocated budget for patent portfolios
  • Perform presentations and become involved in intellectual property review meetings
  • Support business objectives and counsel inventors
  • Work closely with and advise scientific researchers, project managers and heads of business units within the company who are involved in the patent process
  • Maintain a foundation of information related to the patents being filed
  • Remain closely involved in negotiation agreements with third parties

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • public speaking
  • debate
  • business
  • focus on the sciences (biology, chemistry and physics)
  • computer skills
  • mathematics

Education/Training Required:

A master’s or doctorate degree in your preferred field of work (biology, genetics, etc.) is required to become a patent scientist or attorney. Patent attorneys in the United States must be licensed to practice law within the state they reside in. Additionally, they must pass the USPTO registration examination.