How to hire right patent attorney in US for patenting your invention
So... you are sure to go for hiring patent attorney for protecting your invention !!!
If not , and you are still confused whether you would end up saving few thousands of dollars by writing and filing your patent application on your own (without help of patent attorney) you need to read section on do I really need to hire patent attorney ?
Now the next question is out of thousands if not hundreds of patent professionals and patent attorneys in US, how would I find the right one for my invention ? and importantly at right costs ???
Selection process for right patent attorney could turn out more complex process than you would initially imagine. Even though Google search is there to help with your decision making, yet in this particular case the saying “all shining objects are not gold” stands true…
You may find most websites sound similar and it is quite difficult to differentiate patent attorney with regards to superior quality.
This problem is more intense for first time inventors (who have not filed the patent before) who are searching for a good patent attorney and not specifically knowing what to look for when selecting right patent attorney for protecting their invention in US.
Selecting a right patent attorney is significantly expensive decision that you are going to make and you would not want to be making mistakes in it. A patent attorney charges
anything from $200 to $500 per hour
Hence it is wise to be prepared. As you might have guessed, Good reputation and experience in dealing with patents from field of your invention is primary short listing factor and you can get to a shortlisted list of patent attorneys:
Does patent Attorney has degree in your field of invention?
Whatever the patent attorneys are form science or engineering background, their degree should match with the field of your invention. This is for obvious reasons like familiarity with the subject matter of the invention.
Personal visit to patent attorney’s office:
Ideally it is recommended to visit shortlisted patent attorneys as a primary meeting and get a sense of proceedings by meeting one on one; there are far too many advantages to in person meeting before selecting a professional. It’s just way comprehensive than discussing on email or a call.
Short listing calls to attorneys:
If the list of shortlisted patent attorneys is longer and you are unable to distinguish between them with the help of their online profiles It’s better to further shortlist them by scheduling a short phone call (5 to 10 minutes) with the patent attorney who is going to work on your invention.
The some of the things to discuss here would be:
systems or process they follow for taking new client invention disclosure to granted patent
cost estimate for proceeding with your patent requirement
what in included and what is not included in the cost estimate shared
Ask for previous work (granted patents) in same field of your invention:
The previous work reveals too many things about quality of research and drafting for patents on which the attorney already worked on, like
novelty search reports and
responses to office actions
any other relevant work samples from your field of invention
You can visualize your end results comparing to previous work shared by the patent attorneys in communication.
Honestly disclosing real results for novelty search:
This is another factor needed to be considered as in some cases the novelty search for the invention disclosure provided is not performed with adequate quality and attention to ensure positive opinion of patentability… so that a client (applicant) moves ahead with drafting and filing of the patent application.
Although this unethical practice is rare, it is however best avoided if patent attorney appoints an independent patent research expert for performing novelty search and provides honest patentability opinion.
How is your comfort level when communicating with patent attorney?
This is to be decided on more of a gut feeling but nevertheless this is still important factor in selecting right patent attorney to work on your invention. A personal primary visit to patent attorney really helps in coming conclusion with this question.
Have your own thoughts and opinion and trust on your gut feeling as once selected, you are likely to work with him for years to come, even after grant of patent.
Now regarding making decision based on Patent attorney charges, below is the most common question in minds of inventor
Shall I go for most expensive patent attorney or most economic one?
Cost for getting patent for your invention in US heavily depends on the attorney you choose to work with. After all your patent attorney is the only ally who will fight alongside you first for getting patent ( fight with patent office ) and latent in case of infringement of your patent, will fight with infringing party.
Patent attorneys charges typically vary with their expertise and experience, highly experienced patent professional charge the highest amounts, and you probably do not need the highest possible patent professional in US to work on your invention as it could be super expensive.
Having said that, you also don’t want to be working with really inexperienced patent attorney who is just starting out or who will charge ridiculously low fees compared to other patent attorneys.
In such cases you are at the risk of losing entire efforts you put in research and development along with the rights on your invention if it is not well written and not protected with appropriate claims…
Ideal case would be patent attorney with moderate charges and significant experience in your field of invention who can give justice to your efforts and protect your invention to fullest possible extent.
If you happened to make a mistake, be sure that you are selecting higher side of the costing… rather than selecting an attorney with lowest possible charges…
This is because, you still will be on winning side even if you choose slightly highly charged patent attorney as he will ensure that your invention would be appropriately protected !!! and you do not end up losing rights on your invention due to poor quality of patent application.
If you are interested in knowing some of the known strategies to save costs when working with an experienced patent attorney, check our section on How to save costs when working with an experienced patent attorney
If you wish to discuss you invention and patent attorney charges for helping you with your patent filing requirement, contact here.