Philadelphia Patent Attorneys & Lawyers
How it Works
Karen Sutton, Patent Attorney
Philadelphia Patent Lawyers
Why Hire a Patent Lawyer?
When you invent a new product, you want to protect your intellectual property. The patent process is a complicated one, consisting of an in-depth patent search, multiple patent application stages, various fees, and modifications. While you can take the time to research the patent filing process for yourself, you're better off hiring an attorney who can do the job for you.
The road to patent your invention is not easy or cheap. Even if you did all the research, illustrations, and documentation yourself, you are still looking at hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fees. Top patent attorneys in Philadelphia have perfected the filing process, eliminating the need to refile or modify an application.
Although you will pay more to hire a patent lawyer than if you filed by yourself, an attorney will make sure that your patent application is acceptable from the start.
The right patent lawyer will:
- Perform an extensive patent search for any "prior art," which are existing patents or applications similar to yours.
- Advise you on the patent filing process. You will have a lot of questions about getting a patent, and your attorney can answer them all in detail.
- Obtain the proper documentation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has strict requirements for every patent application. These include illustrations or figures that detail the invention and show how it works. Your patent lawyer will have connections to professional patent illustrators and can ensure that the application includes all the necessary information.
- Present technical arguments. Patent lawyers frequently come from technical backgrounds. Many studied engineering, technology, or other types of sciences before going to law school. Others worked as patent examiners. Regardless of the attorney's background, he or she will have the education to argue on your behalf.
- Meet deadlines. Once you file a provisional patent application, the countdown begins. You then have one year to submit the mandatory application (called the "non-provisional" application). There are many other deadlines involved in the patent-filing process, but your attorney is aware of them all and will ensure that every document is submitted on time.
How to Find the Best Patent Lawyer in Philadelphia
Philadelphia-area inventors and businesses have access to some of the top patent attorneys in the country. Even so, how can you be sure the attorney you hire is right for you?
Choosing the right patent lawyer comes down to several factors, and they may vary depending on your individual case. Most inventors will consider budget above all else, but you should explore other areas before going with the least-expensive patent attorney.
Make sure the patent lawyer you hire has the credentials to practice in Philadelphia. Local patent attorneys will be members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and/or the American Bar Association. You can refer to these association websites to find a patent lawyer, review any disciplinary records, and compare credentials.
You may find an affordable patent lawyer in Philadelphia who is licensed to work in the state, but what if he or she only has two years of experience? How does this lawyer stack up against one who has more than 20 years' experience in the field? Did the more inexperienced lawyer learn under a well-known patent attorney?
Once you've compiled a list of names, consider where each lawyer's office is located. Since you will need to meet with your attorney frequently, you don't want to waste time in cross-town traffic when you could find a lawyer closer to home. When any two lawyers have the same credentials and experience, go with the one nearest to your home or office.
Lawyers' fees can add up when you're filing for a patent. Ask each potential lawyer whether he or she charges for every communication, including phone calls, texts, and emails. Also, does the patent lawyer charge by the hour or by a flat fee? If you own a larger business, do you need an attorney to work on retainer?
You don't want to hire a lawyer who is so overwhelmed with other clients that he or she can't devote enough time to you and your patent. Make sure the lawyer you hire will be available when you need legal counsel or a new form filled out.
Questions to Ask a Patent Lawyer
- How much of your practice is devoted to patent law?
- Have any of your clients' patent applications been rejected? If so, how were they resolved?
- Will I be interacting with you or someone else from your office?
- Will a paralegal or another lawyer be working on my case? If so, will you be supervising?
- What is the best way to contact you?
- Can I see a recommendation or testimonial from a past client?
- Do you have a technical background?
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Philadelphia Patent Attorneys
Our experienced Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia 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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