Law courts and attorneys handle a lot of cases that border on the infringement of ideas, innovations, and even patents. Sometimes these lawsuits may have been filed without legitimate cause, as the inventions may be in the same industry but have different utilities. Or the defense or prosecuting attorneys manage to find loopholes in a patent that help to protect their clients.
However, the rigors of going through court proceedings could have been forestalled from the start. Having an innovation that you want to profit from in the long run will require you to seek legal protection.
To protect this creation, you will need to get a patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This process is as intensive as it is expensive. While anybody can prepare a patent application and file one, it is more prudent to hire an experienced attorney.
The best option then remains to find a great patent attorney that understands the rule book for filing an application. Even this can also prove to be an onerous task, especially in bustling areas such as California. Finding a great patent attorney in San Diego, for instance, may require having some tips handy.
Let’s take a look at some of these tips.
Do your due diligence
The referral system never grows old. It pays to begin your search for a great patent attorney by leveraging the reach of your network. Your network could include friends, family, or a community of inventors you belong to. Ask them questions about any patent attorney they know or may have used.
However, you must consider that the kind of innovation you have may be different from the ones of the members of your network. Such an attorney who is not well-versed in the nitty-gritty of the industry may make mistakes or overlook critical elements or parts of your patent application.
Furthermore, a patent is supposed to protect your creation, but it also protects the creation of others. Good patent attorneys understand that to reduce the chances of your patent application being rejected.
They have to run checks and be sure your work didn’t infringe on that of others, as well as highlight the unique aspects of your innovation. The patent application process can take up to a year before a patent application request is either granted or rejected.
The complexity of the process can be challenging. Your due diligence search should also seek out attorneys whose quality of services is not reduced by the stress of their work. These are some of the qualities you should look out for if you want to find a great patent attorney.
Proficiency in the field of representation
Beyond gathering relevant documents and an innovation prototype, more is needed to apply for a patent. These requirements include drafting a loophole-free application that competitors cannot infringe on in the future.
A patent attorney understands the bureaucratic system of patent applications more than an outsider without the relevant qualifications and expertise. They are better positioned to help an innovator avoid situations where their patents or innovations can be infringed upon, and consequently, be caught in months of litigious battles.
The process of drafting a patent application has many intricate parts that should be considered. How do you make this patent retain its value over time? How do you ensure you communicate its commercial value and feasibility? What are the strategies that will help in patent marketing?
These are all considerations that a great patent attorney should keep in mind when drafting your patent application. A good patent attorney should be able to demonstrate their degree of competence in articulating the demands and market variables in the industry your patent can be categorized under.
Once you have narrowed down your list of qualified attorneys to a few prospects, you should book a consultation with the attorney. This will create an environment for you to carry out a one-on-one assessment of the attorney’s range and areas of expertise.
Also, if you have questions about the entire process of filing for a patent, a consultation is the right platform to have them addressed by a professional.
Some of the things your consultation session will give you insight into include the following.
Quality of assessment
Before carrying on with the time-consuming and expensive nature of preparing your patent application and filing it, a good patent attorney should carry out their assessment first. This assessment should primarily start with evaluating your prior act.
A prior act is a document that details the criteria that makes your patent unique and eligible to be considered a novel project. Many attorneys do not often bother to request the prior act of your invention.
To ensure a good patent application, your patent attorney should ask you about the scope of your competition, and point out the need to address weaknesses in your prototype while highlighting the strong features of your creation. Also, there are many paths to follow to get a patent.
Your patent attorney should also offer guidance on which path is best for you to protect your patent and the likelihood of success in the market. These are some of the assessments you should be on the lookout for to know if a patent attorney is right for your pursuit of idea credit and protection.
Ask for references
Ask your prospects questions that will help you ascertain if they are the right representatives for your invention. What patents have they successfully filed before? How many have they filed? What is their success rate? These are all pertinent questions you must ask a patent attorney to help your decision to work with them.
The USPTO has a listing of patent attorneys by state. This is another way to find good attorneys for your patent. But even after making a few selections, there is a need for you to have a preliminary interview with your prospects so you can judge, by using these tips, if they are the best choice to represent you.