What does an IP Counsel do?

Patent attorneys offer legal advice to clients regarding intellectual property issues and matters surrounding inventions. They assist with trademarks, patents, and copyright law issues and have the ability to work independently, in a specialized firm, or in-house with a corporation. They draft, file, and prosecute patent applications on behalf of clients who are inventors and argue cases before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patent attorneys represent inventors during the application process and sometimes act as litigators to protect a customer’s rights to what they have invented. They assist clients through the lengthy and complicated process required to apply for and receive a patent for their invention. They remain up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations that govern patent laws and conduct searches to ensure a client’s invention has not been previously represented within the public domain Patent lawyers need a Juris Doctor and must pass the state bar exam. In some cases, a patent lawyer also must pass the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office exam.

What responsibilities are common for IP Counsel jobs?
  • Work closely with IP teams to execute intellectual property strategy.
  • Focus on patent filings, due-diligence, landscape analysis, freedom-to-operate analysis, and validity assessment arising from collaboration with industry partners.
  • Support all aspects of litigation, including discovery, depositions, motion practice, and trials.
  • Coordinate with outside counsel and internal partners to move matters forward in a progressive, fast-paced legal department.
  • Handle US and foreign administrative patent actions (e.g., post-grant oppositions, third party observations, inter partes reviews, etc.).
  • Counsel clients on patent strategy, and gain exposure to conducting searches and preparing patentability, invalidity, and non-infringement opinions.
  • Establish and maintain internal practices, procedures and technology for coordinating and streamlining patent and trademark-related information, filings, and deadlines.
  • Guide decision-making to minimize IP risk, develop launch strategies and to secure freedom to operate.
  • Draft and prosecute patent applications, prepare patent opinion letters, provide IP counseling to clients, and conduct patent due diligence studies in connection with business transactions.
What are the typical qualifications for IP Counsel jobs?
  • Juris Doctor.
  • Advanced expertise in working with plaintiffs.
  • Comfortable serving in an advocacy role.
  • Strong leadership, negotiation, and critical thinking skills.
  • Able to project a strong sense of confidence.
  • Highly collaborative, capable to work with staff and other attorneys on-site and remotely, as well as serving as a role model and mentor to other associates within the office.
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does an IP Counsel make near United States?

$243,995 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


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IP Counsel Career Path

Learn how to become an IP Counsel, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

IP Counsel

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

IP Counsel Insights

Read what IP Counsel professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Tyco Fire & Security
IP Counsel
Aug 9, 2021

“I was in the Exeter NH HQ and my boss and his boss were the best.”

Intellectual Property Attorney
Oct 18, 2021

“Good service overall really nice”

Rahul Chaudhry & PartnersRahul Chaudhry & Partners
Patent Associate
Sep 6, 2023

“Good work life balance is good”

Koreana Patent FirmKoreana Patent Firm
Patent Attorney
Mar 28, 2023

“Good work and life balance”

Stanley Black & DeckerStanley Black & Decker
Senior Patent Counsel
Mar 8, 2022

“Very good engineering efforts to produce the best tools in the market”

IP Counsel
Dec 26, 2021

“Great team to work with really enjoyed my time there”

K & S PartnersK & S Partners
Trademark Attorney
Jul 8, 2021

“Great people to work with”

Schiweck Weinzierl Koch
Patent Counsel
Aug 4, 2023

“good work life balance in this”

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IP Counsel Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of an IP Counsel

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