You have a great idea or tangible product that you would like to have patented, but you need a patent attorney to assist you with the process. Likely, you’ve seen hundreds of ads around the Web, television, billboards, radio and in the paper that promotes their willingness to help individuals and businesses patent their ideas. But to your dismay, you find out that the company is illegitimate and is looking to steal ideas or rip people off. It’s important that you carefully choose your patent attorney to ensure that your best interest is always at heart. Even if the lawyer or entity that you choose gets the patent for you, you want to make sure that you solely own it. Understanding contracts can be difficult for the lay person, which is why patents require attorneys to make things more understandable and easy.
The type of Intellectual Property you Own
The patent attorney that you hire will also be determined by the type of intellectual property you need patented. For instance, if your business is based around marketing, creating and selling innovative goods, then you should find a patent lawyer that specializes in patents and copyrights. On the other hand, if your business is in publishing or Internet pursuits, then you should consider an attorney that specializes in the First Amendment and information technology law.
Before Your Lawyer Search
Before you begin your search for a patent attorney, you should go to the USPTO web site to ensure that your idea isn’t already taken. If it hasn’t, check to see if it is an active space because if it is, then the process will take a lot of effort and could use a lawyer that is highly experienced. In this case, you’ll need an attorney with great credentials. Avoid patent professionals with 800 numbers and highly templated web sites. If the attorney has a high registration number (52,000 or more), then this is a warning sign, unless he or she is affiliated with a more experienced attorney. Patent laws are difficult to learn without the supervision of an experienced attorney.
Finding a Patent Attorney
You should begin your search online within proximity to you. You will need to conduct interviews of the attorneys that you find. Check out their credentials, past successes and their rates. Make sure that the lawyers that you conjure up are all well-versed in intellectual property cases. You can do a search on the Web of the attorneys to see if others have posted any negative or positive feedback about them. Knowing the reputation of the lawyer you’re interested in is very important. During the interview, you should ask questions about their strategies for obtaining patents, what patents they’ve achieved in the past, how long the process took and how much it cost. Ask for references and contact them and ask similar questions.
Knowing the clients of the patent attorney is also important. If they represent businesses that would be a conflict of interest to you, then you should consider going with a different lawyer. Some that may pose a conflict of interest would be clients that have a business opposing to or intersecting with yours. Obtain a copy of the patent attorney’s retainer agreement and go over it together thoroughly to ensure that you understand it.
Just as you’d have an extra spare from Tire Buyer, you should have a patent attorney you can rely on.