Boston Patent Lawyers
Why Hire a Patent Lawyer?
Applying for a patent is a complicated process. Although the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) doesn't require you to hire a patent attorney, due to the agency's strict requirements, it's highly recommended. Failing to hire a top patent lawyer can result in increased costs due to omissions and mistakes. The best attorneys also know that as a startup, you face unique budget challenges.
Your patent attorney in Boston can help you navigate the process to help protect your intellectual property. Here are just a few services that trusted, reputable patent attorneys will offer:
Deciding to file a patent is the easy part. Unless you're willing to invest a lot of time and effort into research, you need professional advice. Top patent attorneys provide more than document services. They also provide essential advice about potential problems and success rates.
Just because you've created an original product doesn't mean that someone else hasn't already patented a similar idea. That's why performing a patent search is necessary. A patent search involves going through all issued and published patent applications to find anything that could be considered a previously existing idea. Luckily, your lawyer will do this for you.
Regardless of whether you're applying for a design patent, utility patent, or provisional patent, your Boston attorney will complete the necessary paperwork. The USPTO requires specific types of documentation, including illustrations related to your patent's design. An experienced lawyer knows how to create the most effective patent application to move the process along.
Getting a U.S. patent can take up to two years or more. Your patent lawyer will file the appropriate paperwork, suggest modifications, and present technical arguments. He or she will also have experience filing patents overseas.
In some cases, the USPTO may request additional information or have questions about your patent application. When you hire an attorney, you're already a step ahead. Your lawyer will respond to the patent examiner on your behalf, increasing the chances that your application will be approved.
How to Find the Best Patent Lawyer in Boston
Begin your attorney search by looking for lawyers who are members of the Boston Bar Association and/or the Massachusetts Bar Association. You also can request a referral from these organizations, as well as the American Bar Association.
You can also find qualified patent lawyers on websites like UpCounsel. View each lawyer's profile, review credentials, and find his or her name on a bar association website to make sure you're hiring the best.
Once you have the names of potential patent lawyers in Boston, it's time to narrow down the list. We recommend the following considerations:
- Where is the patent lawyer located?
- Does the lawyer have experience in patent law?
- Has the attorney been successful in filing similar patents?
- Are other startups or inventors looking to hire this lawyer?
- How much experience does the attorney have in filing provisional and nonprovisional patents? What about design and utility patents?
- How long has the attorney specialized in patent law?
Since you'll be working with this lawyer for at least a couple of years, if not more, it's important to feel like you can approach him or her at any time. An approachable attorney will be concerned about your case, be open to communication, and return your communication requests quickly. Ask how your lawyer plans to communicate with you and how long it usually takes to return phone calls, emails, or texts.
Cost is often a deciding factor for clients seeking legal counsel, but this isn't always the smartest decision. It's important to hire the best patent attorney you can afford.
Even filing a patent on your own can cost thousands of dollars, so why not get it done right the first time? How much your lawyer will cost will come down to location (in Boston, patent lawyers average $75 or more per hour) and type of law firm. To save the most money, go with an experienced patent attorney with little overhead rather than someone who works at a large firm.
Questions for a Patent Lawyer
- Do you represent both large and small businesses?
- Does your practice focus entirely on intellectual property?
- What kind of team will be working on my case?
- Do you assign certain tasks to other lawyers or paralegals? If so, will you supervise them?
- How do you work with your clients? And how involved will I need to be?
- How do you plan to communicate with me?
- Have you ever worked as an examiner at the USPTO?
- Have you successfully secured patents for clients similar to me?
- What is your technical background?
- Did you receive specialized training in patent law?
Why use UpCounsel to hire a Boston Patent Attorney?
You always get experienced professionals and high caliber work.
Your work gets done quickly because professionals are always available.
More cost effective
We use technology to cut traditional overhead and save you thousands.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Boston Patent Attorneys
Our experienced Boston patent attorneys & lawyers represent individuals and businesses throughout the world with domestic and foreign patent preparation and prosecution matters. They have extensive experience handling applications from nearly every sector of technology, including biotechnology, computer hardware and software, communication networks, internet systems and methods, automotive, medical equipment, construction technology, consumer electronics, and clean technology research and development.
Our patent attorneys are of the most highly trained in the industry, requiring a scientific background, and passing a second level of testing known as the Patent Bar Examination. Thousands of patents are submitted to the patent office every day and a patent committee reviews each patent for its validity. The process requires that correctly drafted documentation present a clear case for the novelty of the invention, which is best made by a patent attorney with a higher education background in your industry.
Our Boston patent attorneys & lawyers can help you file a provisional patent, which lasts for 1-year and allows you to immediately begin using/manufacturing your invention with the confidence that your idea is protected. These types of patents are great if you think your idea will change a lot over the next year before you file a (non-provisional) patent. These patents are easier to obtain and are less expensive but you should have a patent lawyer review your provisional patent application to insure that you are meeting your objectives when you file your patent.
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- 6 min read
First to File: What is it?
The first to file rule states that whoever is the first to file a patent on an invention owns the rights to that invention, even if it is a provisional patent or if that person didn't come up with the idea. After the America Invents Act went into effect in March 2013, the United States switched from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" rule.
Until 2013, the U.S. Patent Law used the "first to invent" rule to protect inventors. This meant that if the patent application listed two or more inventors for the same invention, the patent would be awarded to the inventor who first thought of the idea and put the invention into practice. This was the case even if the first inventor wasn't the "first to file" a patent application.
While this new law doesn't technically award a patent to someone who steals
- 8 min read
What Is the Patent Assignment Database?
The Patent Assignment Database has all recorded patent information from August 1980 until now. Any time someone adds information to one of the patent records, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) adds it to the database. However, it doesn't check to make sure that the new information is correct.
How Do Patent Assignments Work?
Assignments offer flexibility. Different people can acquire different rights to a patent. One person could have the patent assignment, but a prior owner could keep a license to use the technology for free.
An interested party could only look at these documents at the USPTO. They're not available online. The best practice is for the owner of a patent to show all current and previous assignments. This is a chain of title that starts with the inventor. The most recent entry should be the current owner.
Each license agreement should also have a re
- 6 min read
What Is Patent Drawing Software?
Patent drawing software is a type of computer program that allows the user to easily create diagrams, flowcharts, engineering schematics, and computer-aided drafts. Inventors can then use these to illustrate their patent applications for presentation to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Also, the software can help to create 3D renderings and virtual prototypes to capture the attention of potential partner companies and licensees.
To adequately illustrate the scope of the invention, patent drawing software shows aspects such:
- The particular components of the invention and how they fit together
- The internal workings of the invention
- Numbered figures that describe each piece of the invention
In most cases, patent attorneys suggest several drawings to accompany the patent idea. These drawin
- 7 min read
How to Patent a Phrase
While you can learn how to patent an idea here, unfortunately, it is not possible to patent a phrase. Instead, you can trademark a phrase by registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Before registering, someone looking to trademark a phrase would need to make sure that it is available and not currently trademarked by anyone else.
Individuals and businesses can trademark any phrase, which has a secondary meaning that connects to a product or service.
Reasons to Trademark Your Phrase
- It helps you create unique marketing materials. A phrase can be an important part of your long-term marketing strategy. However, if your competitors profit from it, your phrase will quickly lose its value. This includes "catch phrases," which gain popularity through their use by a person, o
- 9 min read
What Is Ex Parte Reexamination?
Ex parte reexamination is a tool that allows a patent owner or a third party to lodge a request for the United States Patent Office (USPTO) to reexamine an already-granted patent based on other patents and publications that they bring to the USPTO's attention.
An ex parte reexamination can be requested at any time during the enforceability of the patent. The requester needs to establish that the prior art creates a substantial and new question of patentability (SNQ). The reexamination is conducted in front of a panel of three experienced examiners within a specialized unit of the USPTO called the central reexamination unit (CRU).
Ex parte reexamination proceedings involve only the patent owner and the USPTO. After the request is filed, the third-party requester is removed from further involvement unless the patent owner files a statement seeking to rebut their assertions.
Requests for continued e