What Is a Patent Attorney?

A patent attorney is a lawyer with experience in intellectual property (IP) law that covers the security and protection of intellectual property. These attorneys receive a federal license to represent clients by passing a bar exam designed specifically for patent law. A patent attorney cannot represent clients before the USPTO without this federal license and their state bar license. Thus, a patent attorney is someone who has extensive understanding and training in the protection and representation of intellectual property.

What Do Patent Lawyers Do?

Patent attorneys might help inventors analyze their invention and develop a patent that can defend that invention. Effectively writing a patent application isn’t something that can be done by anyone. It sometimes takes years of apprenticeship with qualified patent attorneys before a lawyer can handle it on their own. Most attorneys don't perceive patent regulation in any respect. There’s by no means been a profitable firm that has their engineers writing their very own patents. They typically have a patent attorney in-house, or they bring one in from the outside. It avoids compromising on quality.

Who Are Patent Attorneys?

A lawyer who has extensive understanding of IP laws and regulations in addition to specialized knowledge of a technical industry. For example, a patent attorney who has devoted his or her profession to obtaining patents on innovations in telecommunications can, for example, create a cell phone company’s patent, anticipate the patent office’s rejections, and use regulations to get you your patent.

Better Understanding of a Patent Attorney

A patent attorney is a consultant who helps prepare and submit your patent application while also acting as legal representation if you have patent infringement, licensing, or re-examination issues.

Patent attorneys may specialize in niches like healthcare, technology, or engineering which could be critical in understanding and representing your patent. They can also can give their professional patent opinions for legal cases independent of their clients.

However, patent attorneys are different from a patent agent. These two are similar in that they can both help represent a client before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but a patent agent isn’t able to prosecute or conduct other legal recourse methods if your patent is infringed upon.

When Can You File a Patent Application Yourself?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office suggests finding a patent lawyer or agent. Should you seek a patent lawyer, go to the USPTO website to access the record of those able to appear before the USPTO on your behalf.

Whereas patents are a kind of intellectual property, you shouldn't hire an IP lawyer when you really want a patent lawyer. Intellectual property attorneys haven't passed the patent bar examination, aren't licensed by the USPTO, and don't necessarily have technical experience.

A Layperson Can Do a Quality Job

The standard of a patent is especially dependent on whether the patent application contains a full, clear, and correct description of the use of the invention. The patent quality can be decided if the reach of the patent is as broad as possible, given the state of prior developments within the discipline. How the product “sells,” the benefits of the invention, and the way an applicant handles correspondence with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can all have an effect on the patent quality. Clearly, a patent expert who performs patent drafting regularly can more effectively create an acceptable application.

How Patent Lawyers Differ

On many occasions, patent regulation companies present people and small corporations with a junior patent attorney with insufficient expertise. In the event that a senior attorney is involved, that attorney will usually not supervise the junior attorney adequately. In such cases, these massive or medium-sized patent companies largely concentrate on company clients. When a patent application is poorly written, it can present unnecessary risks.

Choosing the Right Patent Lawyer

Unlike other legal industries, patent law requires intense specialization. Technical skills and a meticulous eye for detail are just two important characteristics of a good patent lawyer. However, just because a patent lawyer has relevant experience to your industry doesn’t mean they can easily communicate the necessary information to you or through the application. It’s important for you to find a lawyer who is experienced, but is also good at communicating.

A strong patent attorney not only has great knowledge of the industry within which your company operates, but also knows how to clearly and concisely explain the intricacies of the law with you and create the application in such a way that it stands up against the scrutiny of other patent lawyers.

If you need a patent attorney, you can post your job on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.