Houston Patent Lawyers
Why Hire a Patent Attorney?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office doesn't require an inventor to have a patent attorney complete their application for a patent. However, the paperwork is complicated, and it is easy to omit needed facts. Inventors should hire one of the best patent attorneys in Houston to apply for a patent on their behalf. That way, they have the assurance that their application, prepared by an expert in patent law, isn't missing any necessary information.What Is an Attorney?
An attorney is a licensed professional who advises clients on legal matters. Other names in the United States by which these professionals are known include "lawyer," "counsel," and "counselor." In some countries, the term "notary public" describes someone who practices law. Although a U.S. lawyer might be a notary, a notary is a lawyer. Be certain that any attorney you hire in Houston has a license to practice law in Texas.What Is a Patent?
A patent for an invention is the granting of property rights to the inventor. The USPTO grants the patent holder "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States.
There are three types of patents. A patent attorney will help you decide which one you need.
- Utility Patent: Granted to an inventor or someone who "discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof"
- Design Patent: Granted to an inventor of "a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture"
- Plant Patent: Granted to a person who "discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant"
Among the services generally offered by patent lawyers are:
- Determining whether an invention is patentable. Is it innovative, novel, or useful?
- Compiling any data, drawings, and other papers required to complete the application documents.
- Performing patent research for patents awarded in the United States and other countries. Are there any potential cases of patent infringement?
- Filing a patent application with the USPTO.
- Paying the patent application fees.
How to Find the Best Patent Attorney in Houston
The procedure for finding the best patent attorney in Houston is the same as in any city.
UpCounsel lists the top patent attorneys in Houston. However, if someone you trust submitted a patent application in Houston, you may also want to ask that person which attorney they used.
Once you have the names of attorneys who might help you, there are several steps you must take.Read the Attorney Profiles
As you read through the attorney profiles, make note of the following:
- What universities did the lawyer attend?
- What law school did the attorney attend?
- How long has the attorney been practicing law?
- What are the attorney's areas of expertise within business law?
- How many inventors applying for a patent has the attorney helped?
When meeting with a patent attorney for the first time, consider the following:
- Where is the office located?
- What are the attorney's office hours?
- How easy is it to get an appointment?
- Is the office professional-looking?
- Does the attorney understand what help you need?
- Did the attorney pay attention to what you were saying?
- Has the attorney applied for a 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?
There are also steps to take and points to consider after the first meeting.
- Disciplinary Actions — Have any disciplinary actions been filed against the attorney or the law firm?
Every state monitors the disciplinary actions filed against attorneys. In Texas, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, an independent statewide adjudicatory body of 12 attorneys, hears disciplinary cases. The board follows the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.
- Comfort Level — Will you be comfortable discussing all phases in the creation of your invention with the attorney? Do you have any objections to showing your invention to the lawyer and demonstrating its use, if applicable? You need to be able to tell the attorney everything you can about your invention and answer truthfully all questions the lawyer asks.
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 Houston Patent Attorney?
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Houston Patent Attorneys
Our experienced Houston 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 Houston 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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