Skip to Main Content

What is a Patent Engineer?

Someone with an engineering or science background who works with patent attorneys to help companies legally protect their technology.

Who We're Looking For

  • Juniors, seniors, grad students, and engineering professionals
  • Excellent academic and/or professional credentials
  • Team player who will thrive in a fast-paced, collaborative environment
  • Subject-matter expertise in any of the following disciplines:
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Engineering Physics

What Will I Do?

  • Complete a 12-week internship in Boulder, Colorado with a full-time role available if successful
  • Work collaboratively with other patent professionals, helping our patent attorneys guide complex technology through various stages of the patent process
  • Your role will be to work closely with our attorneys to:
    • Interview inventors about new technology
    • Draft descriptions and drawings of the new technology for use in new patent applications
    • Research differences between our clients' technology and the current state of the art
    • Draft arguments to U.S. and overseas patent offices in favor of our clients' technology
    • Negotiate the scope of legal protection to be granted in a patent

Why Join Us?

  • Excellent compensation and benefits (Interns start at $40 per hour. Upon successful completion you will become a salaried employee)
  • Support from AI solutions and innovative, collaborative staffing models, for you to focus on what matters
  • Work on next-gen technologies for some of the world's most innovative patent owners
  • Personal ownership and a critical team member from day one
  • Meritocracy and autonomy
  • Collaborative, diverse team of 50+ patent professionals
  • Inclusive culture
  • Work from some of the USA's most amazing locations: Boulder, Denver, Salt Lake City, or Boise
  • Be part of a national law firm that is at the forefront of innovation in patent drafting
  • Enjoy a work-life balance


Why become a patent engineer over a more conventional engineering path

Our patent engineer program might be a great role for you if you:

  • Prefer an alternative career to the lab
  • Do not see yourself in a traditional engineering role
  • Prefer to learn about, describe, and advocate for technology developed by others, rather than developing the technology yourself
  • Prefer reading and writing about technology in an office environment
  • Prefer working on multiple smaller projects in parallel, rather than dedicating moments or years to the same project
  • Are drawn to the left brain/right brain interplay involved in digesting difficult technological concepts, and then persuading others to adopt a viewpoint about those concepts

I don't know anything about patents. Will you train me?

  • Yes! If you demonstrate an aptitude for learning, critical thinking, and writing, we'll take it from there
  • Our comprehensive training program will teach you everything you need to know
  • We'll provide you with hands-on practice from day one
  • Our mentoring program will make sure you always have a friendly face and a listening ear to guide you along the way

What kinds of long-term careers are available?

Most patent law professionals are either a patent engineer, a patent agent, or a patent attorney. Here's a basic summary of the differences and similarities of these career paths:

Do you expect me to go to law school?

  • No. If you receive a full-time offer after your internship, we'll help you prepare to become a registered patent agent after 18 months of employment as a regular employee
  • Some patent agents decide to go to law school to become patent attorneys, and we support that decision. But many other patent engineers and agents have happy, fulfilling careers without going to law school

But if you are interested in law school...

  • If you decide to go to law school, the firm will financially support a patent agent after 24 months of employment as a regular employee with Holland & Hart.
  • Interested patent agents may apply for participation in the law school support program. Once accepted, Holland & Hart will reimburse law school tuition and registration fees up to $25,000 per year for three years
  • Accepted employees must attend a law school within the Holland & Hart footprint (excluding D.C.), maintain a required class ranking specified by the firm, and work for the firm during law school

Perks as a full-time patent engineer/agent

  • Supportive career program for those who want to become a patent agent or patent attorney, including: reimbursement for prep and exam fees for the patent bar as well as time off to study and one week paid leave upon passing the patent bar
  • Patent agents are eligible for a six-week sabbatical after 12 consecutive years of service with the firm as a regular employee
  • Patent agents are eligible for a longevity bonus after 15 consecutive years with the firm as a regular employee
  • Eligible for full benefits as a regular employee such as: PTO, parental leave, retirement plan, health insurance, wellness plan, bicycle commuter benefit