Use a Patent Invention Attorney
Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Patent Law and other Invention topics.
Why should I use a patent invention attorney?
Unfortunately, lawyers often get a bad rap. The jokes about them are common. You may even believe some of the myths that get tossed around--they are overpriced, they talk in ways no one can understand, they can't be trusted. But, when it comes to help for inventors, no one may be more valuable than a patent lawyer. Patent law is complex and getting more so all the time since new inventions are created daily. Even determining whether or not someone has already filed a patent for an idea similar to yours can be a troubling task. You should never get an attorney to help you with invention patents unless he or she is skilled specifically in that area. By surrounding yourself with people who know about inventors and inventions, you can put your focus where it belongs--on your new ideas. Here are some tips for hiring and/or retaining a patent invention attorney:
- How were you treated on that important first meeting? Did the attorney seem rushed or did he or she allocate plenty of time to truly understand your unique invention?
- Does the attorney have significant experience in the area most pertinent to your invention (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets)? Get referrals of people and companies who have used the attorney's services in the past.
- Stay away from a dollar figure per hour. Instead, give the attorney the overall scope of what you need and get a project cost. Also find out what kind of extended payment terms the attorney is willing to accept. Remember, your initial cash flow may be limited until your product goes to market.
- Follow up appointments with an email that outlines what you discussed and what both of you plan to do about it. That way, you create a trail of communication you can keep for your files.
Finally, since you may be reluctant to discuss your new idea with someone until you can receive protection that it's yours, hiring a patent attorney will give you a chance to bounce ideas off a person who is bound by law to keep the conversation confidential. This is yet another advantage of hiring such a professional.