The time has come for you to secure a patent for your groundbreaking invention. Great! When do we move on to Step Two? Find an attorney to assist you to file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office before you publicly disclose your idea (USPTO). When do you even start? How do you know what to look for? Some items to think about are listed below.
Get yourself a “patent attorney.” This is not a case that any old lawyer will do. Finding a lawyer who is authorized to represent clients before the USPTO is essential. If you aren’t completely satisfied, feel free to keep looking until you do. There are many people who avoid getting legal help because they are afraid of the resulting fee. Until you have signed an engagement letter with the firm, you should not be billed for any services. Typically, patent attorneys are willing to meet with you for an initial consultation at no cost, usually lasting an hour or two. These consultations allow the attorney to learn more about you and your situation, introduce you to the firm and its attorneys, and provide a forum for you to discuss the broad legal protection possibilities for your idea. Discuss your needs with several businesses until you find one with whom you feel comfortable working.
To protect your intellectual property, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in the same technical area as your invention. A patent application has elements of both law and engineering. Find a lawyer who can grasp the technical aspects of your innovation so that he or she can write a thorough and accurate description of it. Most intellectual property law firms list individual attorneys on their websites, often including details about their individual technical experience. If you’re looking for legal representation, it’s important to find a business that employs lawyers with the right kind of technical expertise.
Get to know the patent attorney who will be working on your application. It’s fairly uncommon for a different lawyer to end up drafting your patent application after you’ve met with one or more. Ask to meet with the attorney who will be drafting your patent right away, if possible even at your initial consultation. Make sure your lawyer is up-to-date on the technology before “disclosing” your innovation to him or her. Find a lawyer who understands your idea completely and can ask you probing questions about it.
Give an account of how much it will set you back to get a patent. Simply submitting a patent application is insufficient. After being submitted, it will be placed in a queue for review by a Patent Examiner. A patent application may be denied by the Patent Examiner multiple times before it is finally accepted or abandoned. Include average expenditures for responding to rejections from the USPTO in your discussion of the firm’s “prosecution” fees.
It can be difficult to know where to start when looking for legal representation, and finding a patent attorney is no exception. It is crucial to discover a corporation that works well with you and your company before hiring them. You should be able to ask better questions and make a more well-informed choice if you keep the aforementioned things in mind.