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What to Consider When Hiring a Patent Attorney

— May 4, 2020

Getting a patent for your invention is a great way to protect it. However, if you don’t have an attorney to help you along the way, you may find this is a rocky path to traverse alone.

Have you come up with an amazing and innovative idea that you want to share with (and sell to) the world? If so, don’t give up your secrets without getting some type of protection. The best way to protect your idea is with a patent.

However, while getting a patent is a smart move, it’s not always an easy process. This is why it is a good idea to hire a patent lawyer Utah. Unfortunately, not all patent lawyers are the same, which means you must find the right one. Some tips to help you with this important decision can be found here. 

Find an Actual Patent Attorney

When trying to acquire a patent, not just any attorney will work. You need to find legal representation that is registered and qualified to practice before the USPTO. Along with a law degree, a patent attorney will typically have another skill or degree in a technician filed, such as engineering, biology, chemistry, or physics, and has passed the patent bar. If you hire a lawyer from a general practice firm, they may have a few patent attorneys; however, there are specialty firms that focus strictly on patents and other IP (intellectual property) matters.

Take Time to Find a Good Fit

If you are like some people, you may be hesitant to call an attorney, concerned you will receive a bill for their time. However, no firm should send you a bill until you have signed the engagement letter with the firm. This letter will outline the billing terms.

Most patent attorneys will have no problem meeting with you for no charge, initially. This meeting is beneficial for you and for the attorney. You can learn about them and the attorney can learn about what you need. It’s a good idea to meet with several attorneys and law firms to find one you are comfortable with.

Find an Attorney with Related Technical Knowledge

When you are submitting a patent application, it is a legal document (of course), but it is also a technical document. What this means is that you need to find a patent attorney who has the knowledge and background so they will fully understand the invention you have created on a technical level. This knowledge will help ensure they can draft the application document in a full and concise manner that describes the invention clearly.

Teamwork and technology; image by, via Pexels.
Teamwork and technology; image by, via Pexels.

Usually, if a law firm deals with cases that involve intellectual property, there will be attorney profiles on the website that include the technical background each of the attorneys has. When you are searching for the right firm, be sure to find one where there is an attorney with the necessary technical background. Also, when you go to the firm, ask specifically to work with the attorney that has the necessary skillset.

Meet the Attorney Responsible for Drafting Your Patent

In some situations, an attorney you meet with in the beginning won’t be the one who is drafting your patent application. Make sure you find out what attorney is going to draft the patent and be sure to meet with them. When you are disclosing information about your invention to the attorney, be sure they understand the technology and what exactly you are telling them. Try to find an attorney who can ask insightful questions and who shows a full understanding of what you have created.

Talk About Billing

Never engage a firm for the drafting of your patent application until you know exactly what their services will cost. Having the billing schedule laid out in front of you is the best way to determine if an attorney is worth the cost.

Getting a patent for your invention is a great way to protect it. However, if you don’t have an attorney to help you along the way, you may find this is a rocky path to traverse alone. Using the tips here to find the right attorney for your needs will help you with the process and ensure that you take the proper steps to get the patent. 

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