Choosing a Patent Attorney

Its important to remember a Patent is a legal binding document that is an enforceable contract giving you the rights of a design once the patent has been approved. As with any contract, you need to include accurate information as this could potentially affect the validity of the patent if done incorrectly.

I need to point out that most of the time patent lawyers/attorneys work on a set fee whilst some may work on a hourly rate. If you choose to go for the hourly rate option, be aware this potentially cost more in the long run.

Costs involved

Check with a number of lawyers/attorneys how they break down their costs before you make a decision. Some include patent searches and patent application together, or you might find some who split the cost of the search and application. This means if there is an idea out there already with a patent on it, you don’t get charged for the more costly application phase.

An Inventor is allowed to apply for his own patent direct with the government, but unless you fully understand all the procedures and related laws, he is running at risk of not covering all the bases to protect his idea. I would always recommend taking on the services of a patent lawyer/attorney or agent to assist you in filing a patent application.

What information would the Attorney need?

I created a brief list below of information that may be requested during your initial meeting with a patent attorney so try and work through this list before you have your meeting as it could save time and money:

  • What is the title of the invention (name you want to call it)?
  • Description of the patent
  • Unless part of the costs a drawing of the invention
  • When did you conceive the idea?
  • Any other contributing people names
  • Description to help then understand any background technology.
  • Industry of the invention
  • Does anyone else know about the invention
  • Have you published the invention, websites, magazines

Difference between a patent agent and patent attorney

Both of these have the technical knowledge to represent individuals before a patent office. The main difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney is that the patent attorney has a law degree, meaning they are allowed to represent you and your patent before federal and state courts where an agent is limited to legal matters with the patent office.

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