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How to Choose the Right Patent Attorney

Colleagues working together in officeAs an inventor, you know everything there is to know about your inventions. You’ve studied it, revised it, tested it and shared it (at least with a few good friends). Well, now that you’ve done your part, it’s time to find the right attorney who has also studied and skillfully mastered his craft to handle projects such as yours. But you may be wondering how to find the right attorney, and wonder what makes one better than the other for your special invention.

Here are few steps to help you through the process.

  1. You should select an attorney whose engineering background relates to the field of your invention. There are four types of engineers, mechanical, chemical, electrical and computer science.
  2. Only choose an attorney who can give you a quote for what the entire bill will be. They will have to inspect your invention first. Ask how the payments will be arranged.
  3. Use a patent attorney that hires an independent professional patent searcher. An in-house searcher would provide a conflict of interest, leaning towards making the patent search more favorable.
  4. Trust you intuition and only choose an attorney who you feel understands your invention.
  5. Interview different attorneys until you have made your choice. You will be working with this individual for 2 to 3 years.

In Summary

  • The most reputable patent attorneys charge between $3,000 to $10,000 for a well-drafted patent application including the drawings and filing fee. Anything less than $3,000 should be scrutinized.
  • Educate yourself about the patent process and understand as much as you can. It will help you know the questions to ask, what to expect during the process and you will be able to communicate better with your attorney.
  • You could hire a patent agent instead of an attorney, but the patent agent will not be able to litigate for you if any infringement issues arise. You may be thinking that litigation won’t be an issue, but unfortunately, that’s one of the unknowns about the process. No one ever comes after someone that has nothing to offer, but if you have invented the next computer system, watch out because the vultures will find you.
  • Never deal with a salesperson, in choosing an attorney always deal directly with the attorney. Remember you’re not spending your hard-earned money to help a kid fresh out of college trying to get some experience under his belt while he answers phones at the front desk. You want the real deal.