Tips on Selecting the Right Patent Lawyer
Every day, new inventions, ideas, and discoveries come up from different individuals. To protect these intellectual properties, the government designed what is referred to as a patent.
This is a way of granting the owner of an invention or intellectual property the right to solely own the idea while excluding other people from using, making, or selling the invention without proper authorization from the inventor. It is limited to a number of years in exchange for the disclosure and publishing of the said invention or idea.
Patents are incorporeal rights; that is, they are intangible, cannot be seen and are untouchable but they are pretty much enforceable. A holder can sue anyone who infringes on the patent and by so doing enforce their rights.
It falls under private law in most countries and it is used as a form of competitive advantage in a lot of industries. Common examples are licenses, copyrights, easements, right-of-ways, trademarks, etc.
To be granted one, an individual has to apply and should include claims that show the scope or kind of protection that is required. It can include several claims with each one describing specific rights and all must meet with the requirements for patentability which can include novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness.
In the United States, the government agency that handles and approve applications is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent lawyers help to act as interface between individuals and the USPTO.
Understanding the Role of A Patent Lawyer
A patent attorney is a lawyer who is qualified to represent their client in matters concerning obtaining patents. They are experts at matters that include intellectual property laws and act in matters to secure, protect, defend, prosecute as well as filing applications where it concerns intellectual property laws.
A patent lawyer differs from a patent agent or intellectual property attorney. While an agent can perform most of the task of a lawyer when it comes to representing their clients at the USPTO, they cannot represent them in legal cases like prosecuting an infringement.
Intellectual property attorneys on the other hand have not passed the patent bar exam so they are not licensed by the USPTO and may not have the technical expertise required to work on patents.
As an individual, you may even file an application to the USPTO by yourself but it is recommended to use a lawyer instead.
How to Choose the Right Patent Lawyer
Ideas are said to be common and while you are thinking of one, others may be thinking of something almost similar too. There are also people who are just waiting to steal the idea off you as soon as it comes to light. To avoid your idea or hard work being stolen from you, it is important that you hire the right attorney. You can visit http://tatonettiip.com to get a first-hand view of what constitutes a competent attorney.
In the meantime, below are some factors to consider so you can be sure of making the right selection.
Aside from passing the bar exam, it is good to engage lawyers who have the expertise and are experienced in handling matters related to patents. They may also need to have technical expertise and knowledge about specific industries and technologies.
If they have succeeded in helping others over time to secure patents for similar ideas and inventions, they might be suitable to represent you.
A lawyer must be skilled and diligent in preparing a patent application and this comes via years of experience and expertise in doing such. If not properly done, it can leave gaps that may enable people to steal your idea. To this end, you can ask the lawyer how many patents they have secured so far.
Certification and License
Several agents can be used to file an application with the USPTO. They include individuals, agents, as well as attorneys but not every person is certified and thus they may be limited in what they can do especially when there is a need to prosecute an infringement. You must ensure that your lawyer has the right certifications to handle all patent-related matters and not just for filing and that they are licensed to do so.
Before an idea or invention is made public, there is a period of confidentiality where it has to be kept secret until it fully blossoms. A good attorney will ensure that details about your application are held in confidentiality as required by federal regulations.
Some lawyers may prefer that an initial consultation should be non-confidential so that they can ascertain there is no conflict of interest with any of their present clients. At this time, you do not need to reveal anything that you deem confidential but when discussions get to the point where you feel that the attorney can ably represent you, then you can divulge confidential details. There are strong federal laws that guide confidentiality in these matters so you do not need to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Another factor to consider before engaging a lawyer is their reputation. You should do a thorough research as well as ask others about them. If it is a firm, consider the reputation of the firm as a whole and not just the assigned lawyer.
A part of the reputation is the way they treat their clients. Are they easy to reach and communicate with, do they go the extra mile in ensuring the approval of an application, and are they trustworthy? All these and many more will help you to determine how reputable they are as well as their suitability to represent you.
You can check out this article to learn more about how to select the right lawyer.
Patents are a way to secure intangible ideas and intellectual properties but it may involve a lot of technical processes that you need a lawyer specialized in the field to handle.
Due to the nature of these intangible entities, there is a need to ensure that you select the right attorney to help you out in filing and approving your application. They will also be able to prosecute anyone that infringes on your right. The tips above will serve as a guide in helping you choose the best lawyers.
This post was written by Antoinette Navarro, a copywriter and content writer who specializes in blogging, email marketing campaign and social media reviews. Her strategy is to develop quality and informative write ups for online engagement. In her free time, she goes around town for the latest trends in news, politics and entertainment.