Washington DC Patent Lawyers
Why Hire a Patent Attorney?
Patent law is complex, and the patent application process requires a lot of research and document-gathering before forms can be filled in and submitted. Inventors and scientists should ease the burden on themselves and have a top patent attorney in Washington, D.C., do the work for them.What Is an Attorney?
An attorney is a licensed professional who advises clients on legal matters. In the United States, these professionals may also be called "lawyer," "counsel," or "counselor."
In some countries, the term "notary public" describes someone who practices law. It's important to note that in the U.S., a lawyer might be a notary, but a notary is a lawyer. Be certain that the attorney you hire in Washington has a license to practice law in the District of Columbia.What Is a Patent?
A patent for an invention or certain scientific discoveries is the granting of property rights to the inventor or scientist. The United States Patent and Trademark Office doesn't grant the patent holder "the right to make, use, offer for sale, or sell" the invention in the United States, but it does exclude others from doing so. A patent protects the applicant for a specified number of years.
There are three types of patents granted in the United States. A patent attorney will help you decide which one you need.
- Plant Patent, for someone who "discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."
- Design Patent, for someone who invents "a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture."
- Utility Patent, for someone who "discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof."
Patent lawyers can assist with the following tasks:
- Determining whether an invention is patentable. (Is it innovative, novel, or useful?)
- Performing research for patents awarded in the U.S. and other countries. (Are there potential cases of patent infringement?)
- Compiling required data and papers to complete the application documents.
- Filing the patent application and paying the associated fees.
How to Find the Best Patent Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If you know someone living in the District of Columbia who has been granted a patent, ask which patent attorney helped them. Getting a referral from someone you know is a good place to start your search.
UpCounsel lists the top attorneys licensed to practice patent law — a subset of intellectual property law — in Washington, D.C. Once you have the names of attorneys who might help you, there are several steps you must take.When Reviewing the Attorney Profiles
Take note of the following details:
- What universities did the lawyer attend?
- What law school did the attorney attend?
- How long has the attorney been practicing law?
- In what areas of intellectual property law does the attorney specialize?
- How many clients applying for a patent has the attorney helped?
During your first meeting with an attorney, consider the following:
- Where is the office located?
- What are the attorney's office hours?
- Is the office professional-looking?
- How easy is it to get an appointment?
- Did the attorney pay attention to what you were saying?
- Does the attorney understand what help you need?
- Has the attorney applied for their own patent?
- How much of what you need will the attorney ask a paralegal to do?
- How many attorneys work in the office?
- How much time does the attorney have for assisting you?
You also need to check for disciplinary actions and assess your own comfort level.
- Disciplinary Actions - The District of Columbia Court of Appeals monitors the conduct of lawyers in the nation's capital. It has the power to discipline members of the District of Columbia Bar for violations of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. The public can search the "DC Attorney Discipline System" on the Court's website for disciplinary system recommendations and actions.
- Comfort Level - Are you comfortable discussing all phases in the creation of your invention with the attorney? Do you have any problems showing your invention to the lawyer and demonstrating its use? It's important to find a lawyer you trust so that you will feel comfortable telling them everything about your invention and answering their questions.
Questions for a Patent Attorney
- What services does your firm offer?
- Have you assisted clients in my industry?
- Have you helped clients planning a business undertaking like mine?
- Have you worked with companies in the early stages of planning their business venture?
- How can I protect my intellectual property?
- Do I need to trademark anything?
- What licenses do I need?
- What contracts do I need?
- Which attorney in your firm will be helping me?
- How much time will an attorney in your firm spend each week helping me?
- What is your firm's hourly rate?
- Does your rate vary according to the type of work performed?
Why use UpCounsel to hire a Washington DC Patent Attorney?
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Washington DC Patent Attorneys
Our experienced Washington DC 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 Washington DC 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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