Getting a patent attorney or patent firm? Get the name of the individual attorney who will personally do the work on your case. You'll wish to know whether the patent attorney is registered; is qualified in the relevant technical arts; and has a successful track record. The following explains how.
Why do we care about this? Because once a patent application is filed, it will be examined by a patent examiner. Most applications receive an official action with some kind of rejection or objection. Many such rejections and objections can be overcome, some more easily than others. Not every patent application is allowed, and therefore the skill of the individual patent attorney comes into play. The patent attorney must be capable of making convincing legal and technical arguments in support of patentability. And, the patent attorney must be skilled at claim drafting: amending a claim skillfully may overcome a rejection or objection. Failure to skillfully respond can result in greater expense and may fail to result in obtaining an issued patent.
Is your attorney/firm experienced, with many good results? Since the attorney or law firm name is printed on the front of issued U.S. Patents, you can easily find out what type of patents they handle, and how many have issued. You can find out by using the patent search feature on the site www.google.com/advanced_patent_search; type in the name of the attorney in the top blank. It should find all issued patents with that name in it. You can do this more precisely at the official U.S. Patent Office site www.uspto.gov, by going to that site and in the upper right corner click the button “search for patents” where you'll get several databases to choose from. Select the first one, and a search box comes up allowing clicking on the “all fields” button and changing it to “attorney or agent.”
A shorter step is simply to find out if the patent attorney is in fact registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office. You can find out by visiting the U.S. Patent Office official web site, at www.uspto.gov, and click the Patents button at the upper left.(it is in the long blue bar). On the screen that comes up, at the lower left portion is a heading titled “popular links”, and the second one down is “Attorneys and Agents” which brings up the searchable official database of registered patent attorneys and patent agents. If an attorney is on the list, great – the attorney is registered and is in good standing.
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com
, or call at 877-654-3336.