Portland Patent Attorneys & Lawyers
How it Works
Peter D. Sleman
Portland Patent Lawyers
Why Hire a Portland Patent Lawyer?
The purpose of a patent is to encourage and protect the process of innovation. Portland, Oregon, is certainly no stranger to that process and its fruits. In fact, the city bears the nickname "Silicon Forest" for its group of high-tech companies in the Portland metro area. If you're an inventor in the area looking to secure property rights in your invention, start searching for a Portland, Oregon, patent attorney. Preparing and securing a patent is a complicated, time-intensive process that an experienced lawyer can help you navigate.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) doesn't require you to have a patent lawyer to file a patent. However, patent law is one of the most complex areas of the law, and thus, it's not user-friendly. Your patent application has to comply with a long list of statutes, rules, and case law. Moreover, you have to write the application in an arcane format and style that no ordinary inventor would know.
This makes the DIY approach not only difficult, but it may also jeopardize your property rights in your invention. Typically, inventors who don't work with a patent attorney file a provisional patent application. This is essentially a temporary placeholder with the USPTO because they are simpler. The dangers of doing so include:
- Providing insufficient disclosure of the invention to allow use of the provisional application's filing date for the benefit of the later, nonprovisional application;
- Missing the one-year deadline by which a nonprovisional application must be filed, thereby losing rights in the invention;
- Depending on the provisional filing to safeguard your rights while disclosing more inventions or improvements to existing inventions publicly after the filing. You would then have no property rights to those added disclosures or inventions; and
- Overdisclosing in the provisional application to the point that valuable secrets are exposed and disseminated publicly.
Of course, not working with a lawyer to prepare and prosecute, or legally secure, your patent might save you money. But now you know the risks. The benefits of hiring the top Portland, Oregon, patent attorneys include:
- Determining whether an invention is patentable. This includes assessing its usefulness, innovativeness, novelty, and non-obviousness.
- Drafting and filing all necessary application papers, including invention descriptions, drawings, claims, and other documents.
- Conducting patent research in the U.S. and abroad about the existence of possible infringement on existing patents.
- Communicating with USPTO examiners during the patent prosecution process.
How to Find the Best Portland Patent Attorney
Patent attorneys are different from other attorneys in that, in addition to passing the traditional state bar exam that all lawyers take, they must also pass the patent bar exam. The patent bar exam contains specialized subject matter that relates solely to the preparation and prosecution of patents. As you search for your Portland, Oregon, patent lawyer, you first want to make sure the attorney is in good standing with the Oregon State Bar Association.
The attorney should never have been formally disciplined and should be an active member, meaning not disbarred. The Oregon State Bar can be reached through their website or by calling 503-620-0222. You can also visit the Multnomah Bar Association website for more information on local attorneys. The Oregon State Bar Association also has a referral system on their website that can provide you with the names of possible patent attorneys.
Next, you'll want to make sure any attorney you're considering is licensed to practice before the USPTO. This is required for patent attorneys. The USPTO has a patent practitioner home page where you can perform a search to check an attorney's license status. To give you an idea of how select this group is, currently, only about 34,000 patent attorneys are actively licensed to practice before the USPTO.
Any attorney you consider should have at least five or so years of experience practicing patent law specifically. Patent law is categorized under the umbrella of intellectual property, or IP, law. But it's unlike any other area of that type of law. Look for an attorney with that experience as well as experience prosecuting patents in your specific industry. For example, if you're filing a computer engineering patent, you don't want a Portland patent attorney whose area of expertise is pharmaceutical patents.
Questions for Portland Patent Attorney
The following list of questions includes things you should ask your prospective patent attorney both before and after you officially retain them:
- How long have you practiced patent law?
- What types of patents have you prosecuted?
- How many patent applications have you submitted to the USPTO and what percentage of those have been successfully granted?
- What industry is your primary area of patent expertise?
- How many patents have you prosecuted in my industry?
- Do you have an active license to practice before the USPTO?
- In the event I'm interested in foreign patents, is that something you or your firm could handle?
- What do you charge per hour, and how many hours do you expect it to take until my patent is approved?
- What can you tell me about the patentability of my invention?
Navigating the patent process doesn't have to be difficult. With a licensed Portland lawyer to assist you with filing your patent, you don't have to process all the issues with rules and statutes alone, but with a professional by your side.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Portland Patent Attorneys
Our experienced Portland 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 Portland 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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