Protecting Your Invention
Even if you have a million dollar idea, you still have to develop, nourish, and protect your design so that your invention can flourish. Applying for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is just one step along your journey, but it’s a crucial move. For that purpose, it would benefit you to hire a competent patent attorney.
The patent application process can be challenging and requires several elements. Formulating a patent alone is a task that requires extensive knowledge in multiple fields, and the ability to explain complicated concepts in a way that can withstand challenges from the some of the nation’s leading patent attorneys.
Hiring a patent attorney can alleviate some of the obstacles involved and help you successfully formulate a license that thoroughly covers your invention. However, not every lawyer is right for your circumstances. It’s essential that you take some time to prepare for your initial consultations, with multiple attorneys, before you rush and hire the first lawyer you meet.
Steps to Find a Good Patent Attorney
The attorney you hire will support you throughout the entire application process and perhaps even after to enforce it. For that reason, it would benefit you to devote some time to research and several initial consultations. To help you out, here are four steps to choosing the right patent lawyer.
1. Do your research and determine your needs
Before you go shopping, you have to know what you need. The same applies when looking for a competent attorney. Having a clear understanding of how your invention works, benefits it’s industry and fits into your business plan will help you relay that information to an attorney. It will also help you determine which professional is best suited to handle your case.
2. Prepare for your initial consultations
After you go through the process of determining whether your invention is patentable, you want to prepare a list of questions you want to go over in your first meeting. Think of these initial consultations as interviews, and you’re the boss. You want to ask questions about their experience in your relevant industry and go over concerns you may have regarding the application process.
It would help if you also collected any relevant documents and evidence proving the novelty of your invention and its design. Items to take include but are not limited to sketches of the device, your business plan, a notebook with records of your creation process, and reliable witness entries.
3. Find attorneys that are qualified to handle your case
Not every lawyer is licensed in patent law. These qualified attorneys have to obtain a J.D. degree and a license from the Federal Government. Moreover, not every attorney has experience in your industry. You could base the selection process for which lawyers you schedule consultations with by the needs of your industry.
For instance, if your business concentrates on publishing or online pursuits, a patent attorney who also handles First Amendment and IT Law could be an excellent choice. Alternatively, perhaps if your company’s focus is solely producing and selling innovative products, you might search for a lawyer who specializes in multiple branches of intellectual property law.
4. Schedule and make the most out of your consultations.
The first three steps are the hard part. After that, you can schedule your “interviews” with confidence knowing you have the tools the choose the right patent attorney for your case. Meet with multiple attorneys and write down your initial impressions after the consultations. Then all you have to do is chose!