When certain firms apply for patents, I hear that sometimes they contact experienced engineers who act as consultants. Personally, I am an electrical engineer (Ph.D.) and I was wondering If I can do that as a side job.

How can a person join the field of patent consultancy? Do I need a law degree?

1 Answer 1


You could get a law degree and become a patent attorney. To be able to even take the patent bar one needs an academic background in engineering or science.

Another possibility is to study for and take the patent bar (all day test with about 50% pass rate) which qualifies you as a patent agent. Patent agents have different career paths than patent attorneys but are equal in terms of rights and responsibility before the USPTO.

Without learning patent law to that depth you can be a patent engineer or scientist. Large patent law firms employ people with specialized technical knowledge to help patent practitioners draft applications. You could also help with searches to turn up prior art to try to invalidate patents their clients are fighting. These jobs require some grounding in patent law but not to the extent of passing the patent bar.

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