Do You Need A Patent Lawyer? Here’s What You Need To Know

If you have an issue regarding intellectual property and control over a genius idea, you are going to want a patent lawyer. Patent lawyers are certified experts in anything that involves inventors and intellectual property. Plus, patent lawyers are capable of rendering necessary litigation services.

If you want to make sure that your invention, idea, and attached rights to your intellectual property are adequately protected and appropriately licensed, you will want to get a patent lawyer.

A patent lawyer should not only be knowledgeable in patent law, but they should have passed the bar exam for the state in which they practice, and have earned their license from the US Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO.

Before a client chooses to work with a lawyer who is sufficient in patent law, it is essential that the lawyer has actual proven working experience in the field. A fledgling lawyer who is new to actively practicing patent law may be inadequate with their quality of construction regarding writing an actual patent and filing a patent application. If a request for a patent is poorly written and received, it has the potential to cause problems.

There are exceptions to the rule regarding a lawyer wishing to practice patent law has to pass the USPTO license exam. If a lawyer manages to carry five consecutive years of service with the USPTO, they may be held exempt from license requirements.

The requirements of a lawyer wishing to practice intellectual property law in Europe, Australia, and Canada require licensing via similar standards. Lawyers who focus in patent law are expected to have passed written examinations as determined necessary with specific agencies, have a degree in a science, and have years of experience under their belt.

Any lawyer who wishes to practice intellectual property law should have the ability to combine legal knowledge, technical knowledge, and a command of language to construct a patent that can withstand any future challenges. For the most part, a lawyer who practices intellectual property law can be assured they will either encounter challenges to a patent, or will be responsible for filing and writing patents.

A patent lawyer should be able to carry out the following for a client.

  • Be able to write a patent application well
  • Can enter litigation for a client to protect their rights
  • Can display the ability to explain and simplify concepts with language clearly and appropriately

Once you have reviewed a lawyer’s credentials and proven experience in intellectual property law, you should feel comfortable with proceeding with your case.

Lawyers who practice patent law are not solely found in courts fighting for their client’s rights to intellectual property or determining ownership of an invention or idea.  There are not many lawyers who choose to practice patent law, and many businesses turn to companies that typically deal with larger corporate clients who need patents.

It is a good practice to hire a patent lawyer to write up a patent application for a business, rather than attempting to do this without using a seasoned, certified professional lawyer who practices intellectual property law.

How To Know When A Patent Lawyer Is Necessary

You do not necessarily have to hire a lawyer to write up a patent, but it is advisable to ensure that the language used is appropriate for the intellectual property seeking legal protection. If a patent is poorly written and uses insufficient language to explain itself, it may be subjected to infringement or future attack by other parties.

A client will want a lawyer in patent law to gain more in-depth information about how to file and process a patent, or to get adequate advice on procedures, practices, and protections for their intellectual property.

A client will want to retain a lawyer if they feel their idea has been stolen or infringed upon, and they need to go to court for damages and to assert their rights to ownership and entitlement.

How Much Are Retainer Services And Fees

If you are going to request the services of a lawyer who practices intellectual property law, you will be expected to pay a retainer fee. A retainer fee is entirely separate and unrelated to the filing fee for a patent, which usually costs between $200 and $300 to apply with the office.

A retainer is an advance before any work begins, to ensure that the lawyer has sufficient funds as needed to carry out a case in court or other necessary legal proceedings.

In order to protect the client and lawyer, a contract is drawn up to explain how and why the money put up as a retainer fee will be used. A retainer fee is a professional way to demonstrate that a client wants to enlist a lawyer for their services, and is willing to invest their time and money in their case.

If the retainer fee is used in full by the contracted lawyer, a client can continue to work with the lawyer by refilling their account, or services can be terminated.

Additionally, clients may expect to pay a contingency fee if they win a monetary award for a court challenge. A lawyer may not gain any monetary compensation beyond a retainer fee unless their client successfully wins their case or receives a settlement.

If a client wants to invest in their intellectual property, needs advice or construction of a quality patent, or seeks out assistance with filing a patent or other related concerns, it is essential to pay a lawyer to retain their services.

Lawyer fees are usually charged by the hour for services, and is a separate payment beyond the retainer fee.

Hourly fees are on a sliding scale depending if the lawyer is being selected from a large law firm, or is practicing solo. Also, cities such as New York charge a bit more per hour for services, versus lawyers who practice in smaller cities.

Depending on the type of idea that needs a patent, the price for filing and services using a lawyer can vary. Software and technology that needs a patent may incur a cost of around $15,000. Small businesses seeking a patent for an invention may pay about $5,000.

Where Can I Find A Patent Lawyer

Although clients can fill out an application for a patent, only a lawyer adept in intellectual property law can help create a detailed nonprovisional application for a patent.

You will want to seek out a lawyer for utility patents, design patents, maintenance fees for the patent, and other necessary support.

Lawyers can be found practicing alone or hired to work in-house for larger companies. It is best to not go bargain-shopping for a lawyer who practices patent law. It is also advisable to avoid choosing a firm who has significant overhead costs, which most likely are passed to the client via higher fees.

Using word of mouth by inquiring small businesses and individuals, or searching on the internet for a lawyer can be helpful. It is prudent to thoroughly examine a lawyer’s credentials and have a consultation before moving forward with a retainer fee, or paying hourly fees for services.

Additionally, potential clients should be aware that a lawyer may want to offer a  hefty fee to push a patent application through more quickly, than if a client were to choose to do things themselves.

It is advisable to seek out a competent and professional lawyer, who can confidently explain ideas in full technical detail using scientific and layman’s terms comfortably. Plus, a good lawyer should be able to relay information surrounding the patent process, applicable fees,  and other pertinent information that a client needs to know.

What Should You Look For In A Patent Lawyer

A lawyer practicing patent law should have earned a four-year degree in a science field to develop their use and understanding of technical language. And they should be able to explain clearly in full detail any pertinent information surrounding intellectual property that is seeking protection.

Beyond earning a degree in science or engineering, the lawyer should have earned certifications and furthered their education by attending an accredited institutions law program. After completing their law education, the lawyer should have successfully passed the bar exam for the state in which they choose to practice intellectual law. Additionally, successfully passing the USPTO license exam is a must.

Your choice of a lawyer practicing patent law should be able to comfortably assure you that they can adequately give you advice or handle infringement patents. A good lawyer should be able to easily translate information into layman’s terms so that it is understood by the client, regarding any terms of agreement, processes, or procedures related to their intellectual property concerns.

A lawyer who is certified to practice patent law should be able to determine whether inventions are applicable for a patent, and can sufficiently defend their client’s intellectual property in a court of law if challenged or infringed upon by another party.

A good lawyer should be able to deal with the registration of property rights, property transfer, difficulties, cancellations, and assess risks. Intellectual property needs to have a patent that is written watertight and supports protection on a national and international level.

Patent law is an umbrella which covers inventions, trademarks, designs, and other forms of intellectual property which need to be examined, explained, and written legal protections to prove ownership, rights to control, and protect monetary interests.

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