A patent is basically a contract proposed to the government to request a monopoly of a particular invention. It is used to exclude any other parties from selling, making, offering for sale, or use of your invention without your permission. If you are serious in protecting the intellectual property of your invention, you will need the help of a patent attorney prior to submitting your application. While you can directly file the application to the Patent Office, you will encounter trouble if you do not fully understand the complex laws and regulations about this type of intellectual property. To create an acceptable patent document, you need a reliable attorney. Here are some steps to choose a good patent attorney:
1. Find a patent attorney who is also an engineer
The attorney’s legal skills help you in determining the right regulation, while the engineering skills help understanding the circumstances well and properly drawing up an application in the language of patenting. Choose an attorney with an engineering background related to your field of invention. In general, there are four kinds of engineering: mechanical, chemical, electrical and computer science.
2. Find out about the attorney’s track record
If possible, ask about his engineering background, number of patents he has drafted, what kinds of invention were handled, and how long has he been conducting his practice in patent protection.
3. Choose an attorney with reasonable fees
As the cost will be one of your considerations, ask the attorney about his estimation of cost. To do this, he must conduct a search for similar inventions in the first place. Also, discuss about how the payment will be arranged.
4. Trust your intuition when choosing the attorney
In patenting your invention, you are going to have a professional relationship with the attorney that will last for around 2 to 3 years. Do not feel content with only one candidate. Interview a number of candidates to make the best choice. Do not select your candidate from a salesperson. It is always better to connect with the attorney directly without any involvement from other intermediate parties.
5. Get professional and independent patent agent
In inspecting your invention, commonly you and the attorney will need a patent agent. Patent agents have the competence to examine your invention thoroughly. They also have a standard set by the Patent Office, which is referred to as the patent bar. Sometimes, instead of finding a patent agent on your own, the attorney has a cooperative agreement with a certain agent. Make sure the patent agent used comes from an independent, professional agency rather than an in-house inspector. The more independent that each party involved in patenting your invention is, the less conflict of interest that will occur during the process.