A patent is a powerful tool that can help you protect your invention and earn an equitable return on its commercialization, but finding the right attorney may prove difficult. When searching for “best patent attorney near me,” make sure those attorneys on offer provide the key fundamentals needed to help you secure a strong, defensible patent and patent strategy. When searching for the best patent attorney to represent you, here are some key qualities to look for.
Let’s take a close look at why these qualities are important.
The patent attorney should demonstrate competency in the field of your invention. Their knowledge should provide you with confidence that the attorney will be able to effectively and cost-efficiently research, claim, and represent your rights to the invention – a very technical process, both legally and constructively.
Strong, defensible patent rights can secure a competitive advantage, block competitors from the market, and play a crucial role in successful commercialization. If your patent attorney is not well-versed in the technical field of your invention, they may not understand the competitive nature of the invention’s market, thereby risking insufficient protections, a lack of strategy, and loss of value.
State of the art, or prior art, in patent law is any disclosure, document, or content available to the public that is deemed to be relevant to a patent applicant’s claim. The state of the art can determine if a claimed invention is inventive and novel, criteria for patentability.
Most patent attorneys will skip this step or underemphasize its importance. Yet, failure to assess the state of the art could result in a rejected patent or result in questionable patent validity. While most technical writers can create a description of an invention within their scope of competency, and many patent attorneys can prepare strong patent claim language around the invention, the patent application must be written with an understanding of the state of the art.
Furthermore, the patent should also be directed to a territory that the patent attorney believes can be assigned to their client, providing them the strongest, most efficient, and likeliest route to a granted patent. A state of the art search is absolutely necessary to achieve this goal.
In view of the investments and complexity of the patent system, simply acquiring a patent for marketing rights is not an adequate reason to provide a return on investment for the patent process.
An initial consultation with a patent attorney or attorney can provide a lot of insight into their credibility and processes. In determining the best patent attorney for your needs, it can be helpful to create a list of questions to ask the attorney before engaging the firm. Bearing in mind the key qualities mentioned above, some questions to pose include:
- Are you familiar with the technical aspects of my invention?
- Do you provide patent searches?
- What do your process and timeline look like?
- Are there any additional forms of IP protection I should consider?
At Founders Legal, our intellectual property practice is comprised of highly-rated and award-winning patent professionals who offer a client-focused approach to patent law. We work closely with our clients and inventors to protect innovations across a wide spectrum of industries, including computer software, electrical, biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, mechanical, consumer products, and more.
In addition to patent prosecution, we offer a variety of comprehensive patent search services geared towards product commercialization. Learn more about our Patent Search Services here.
To request a free, 15-minute consultation with a member of our team, click here.