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  #1  
Old 22.02.2011, 23:23
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Patent attorney

Hello

I am a qualified European patent attorney and UK patent attorney living in london. I'm looking to make a move to Switzerland to live the dream and suck up the mountain air.

*Wait for it...*

So I was wondering if any patent attorneys or others in the know could give me a ballpark figure for a Swiss salary for a recently qualified European patent attorney in house (1 to 2 pqe).

I understand these numbers vary significantly but any info on qualified remuneration would be greatly appreciated.

I've had a poke around the forum and searched - but it only throws up 2 results for unqualified trainees which is not really relevant to me.

I appreciate this question might generate some flak - I've read some of the replies other noobs get.… however I have an interview coming up and I want to be prepared without making a fool out of myself.

Thanks
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Old 22.02.2011, 23:33
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Re: Patent attorney

Generically and roughly speaking, UK salary x 1.3 will give you the same earning power.
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Old 24.02.2011, 14:51
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Re: Patent attorney

Thanks for the info. Is that figure based on the exchange rate?

I see that often people have replied on this forum that converting salaries is not that straightforward.

I was wondering if anyone had an idea of a typical swiss salary for an EPA?
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  #4  
Old 24.02.2011, 14:58
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Re: Patent attorney

Well I'm a patent paralegal and my salary doubled when I came to Basel. I'm not sure if that is the same for attorney's though and I don't feel bold enough to go and ask one of my colleagues

Generally speaking from just my own experience, unlike the UK, the big pharma companies seem to pay more than private practice (which you also need fluent German for).
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Old 24.02.2011, 15:04
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Re: Patent attorney

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Well I'm a patent paralegal and my salary doubled when I came to Basel.

dang..............I need to join the real world !!


( just for the record I work as a patent examiner in a certain U.N. org. )
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Old 24.02.2011, 15:17
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Re: Patent attorney

Like mimi1981 said, if you go into industry (especially chemical in Basel) you'll probably (a) start off with more than in private practice and (b) it may not be essential for you to learn the local language (German, French etc.). If you do apply for a job in one of the law firms or patent attorney's offices it will be essential for you to speak the local language, because your clients will expect it from you.

I can't speak for large industry, but in an established private practice in Zurich, as an EPO qualified attorney, with 2 languages (one of them being English), you'll be looking to start at around (+/-) CHF 80K -100K for an engineer and CHF 100K upwards if your speciality is biochemistry. Depending on what type of contract you can negotiate and on how long you stay with the firm (partnership?) it can go to CHF 150 upwards
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Old 24.02.2011, 20:59
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Re: Patent attorney

Thank you mimi1981, grynch and mopp for the information. I would use the thanks button - but since I'm a noob I can't do that yet
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Old 25.02.2011, 11:38
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Re: Patent attorney

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Like mimi1981 said, if you go into industry (especially chemical in Basel) you'll probably (a) start off with more than in private practice and (b) it may not be essential for you to learn the local language (German, French etc.). If you do apply for a job in one of the law firms or patent attorney's offices it will be essential for you to speak the local language, because your clients will expect it from you.

I can't speak for large industry, but in an established private practice in Zurich, as an EPO qualified attorney, with 2 languages (one of them being English), you'll be looking to start at around (+/-) CHF 80K -100K for an engineer and CHF 100K upwards if your speciality is biochemistry. Depending on what type of contract you can negotiate and on how long you stay with the firm (partnership?) it can go to CHF 150 upwards
Bloody hell! Based on the lower salaries I get paid more than some Patent attorney's

Not bragging but that just seems low
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Old 25.02.2011, 11:52
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Re: Patent attorney

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Bloody hell! Based on the lower salaries I get paid more than some Patent attorney's

Not bragging but that just seems low
IIRC you work for a large company that makes all sorts of pills and potions, right If you work for a patent attorney's firm (obviously, depending on the size of the firm) starting salaries are going to be quite a bit lower. Also depends on OP's age etc. and what type of contract he gets.
For example, he can negotiate a basic salary together with a percentage of the fee invoiced to clients (which is what a colleague of mine does)
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Old 25.02.2011, 13:30
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Re: Patent attorney

Mopp - thanks again for the info. The arrangement you describe sounds similar to an attorney friend who is working in Munich.

Can I take it from your post that attorneys tend to be paid more in-house than in private practice in Switzerland?

If so, that's interesting - it tends to be the other way round in the UK.
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Old 30.04.2011, 15:08
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Re: Patent attorney

Hi, just spotted this thread. As a qualified EPA with some experience, you would be able to count on a salary well above CHF100k in private practice. (assuming you have some relevant language ability). Salary can also vary depending on where in Switzerland you work. Billing rates are normally 300 to 450. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you want more detail.
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Old 19.05.2011, 16:22
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Re: Patent attorney

Good afternoon.
I am Dr. Paolo Caruana, a newly graduate in Industrial Chemistry at
University of Bologna (Italy).
I am very interested to work in the field of Intellectual Property and to
become a Patent Agent.
I would ask you if it's possible for me to have a training in Switzerland and also what are the big private law firm.
Thanks for answer me and for helpfulness.
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Old 19.05.2011, 16:46
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Re: Patent attorney

If you guys strike out here, try the U.S. Seems to be plenty of work there:

"An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance."

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Old 19.05.2011, 17:09
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Re: Patent attorney

If only I had patented an apparatus with one or more sides for use to send and/or receive electromagnetic radiation...
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Old 24.01.2013, 00:48
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Re: Patent attorney

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Generically and roughly speaking, UK salary x 1.3 will give you the same earning power.
I'm macedonian citizen, and soon I'll be granted with bulgarian citizenship, I also have Master's Degree Programme (LL.M.) in Intellectual Property Law of the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies at the University of Strasbourg
my question is am I eligible to work in CH ?
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Old 24.01.2013, 07:56
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Re: Patent attorney

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I'm macedonian citizen, and soon I'll be granted with bulgarian citizenship, I also have Master's Degree Programme (LL.M.) in Intellectual Property Law of the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies at the University of Strasbourg
my question is am I eligible to work in CH ?
With Bulgarian citizenship yes, but you need to check that your qualifications are recognised here. Plus what language skills do you have? Don't know how relevant that is in the patent world.
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Old 24.01.2013, 19:23
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Re: Patent attorney

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Hi, just spotted this thread. As a qualified EPA with some experience, you would be able to count on a salary well above CHF100k in private practice. (assuming you have some relevant language ability). Salary can also vary depending on where in Switzerland you work. Billing rates are normally 300 to 450. Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you want more detail.
My question is what is qualifications for Patent Attorney, what bachelor degree should I have, currently I have law bachelor degree, and master degree, is degree on natural science a requirement ?
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Old 24.01.2013, 19:56
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Re: Patent attorney

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My question is what is qualifications for Patent Attorney, what bachelor degree should I have, currently I have law bachelor degree, and master degree, is degree on natural science a requirement ?
Simply put, yes. The European Patent Office requires for admission that:
Candidates must possess a scientific or technical qualification - for example, in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, electronics, pharmacology or physics.

Without this background, and the subsequent training, you cannot become a European patent attorney. This is for good reason, as the day to day job is very technical. With a law degree, you could however become an IP lawyer.
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Old 24.01.2013, 21:09
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Re: Patent attorney

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Simply put, yes. The European Patent Office requires for admission that:
Candidates must possess a scientific or technical qualification - for example, in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, electronics, pharmacology or physics.

Without this background, and the subsequent training, you cannot become a European patent attorney. This is for good reason, as the day to day job is very technical. With a law degree, you could however become an IP lawyer.
IP Lawer , probably isn't same as attorney, what's the subject of defending in that case, and what should I proceed to become a IP lawer ?

thank you
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Old 23.09.2013, 11:07
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Re: Patent attorney

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IP Lawer , probably isn't same as attorney, what's the subject of defending in that case, and what should I proceed to become a IP lawer ?

thank you
Here one has to be careful of the terminology. A "patent attorney" in most places implies a technical qualification + training in IP law, generally leading to a qualifying examination, such as the EQE. However, in the USA (also South Africa), a patent attorney must have a law degree (otherwise s/he is a "patent agent"). The following uses "lawyer" in the European sense.

First of all, become a lawyer (i.e., obtain a law degree)! These days, more and more universities are running courses in intellectual property law, and you could do these. Patent law will always be heavier going for a lawyer with no technical qualification, because of the technical nature of the subject matter, but any lawyer can tackle the other aspects of IP (copyright, designs, trade marks, confidential information and trade secrets...).
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