There is no official requirement for a patent attorney by United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but we should confess that it is in your best interest to hire a highly professional, with many years of experience specialist. So, it is clear that due to the complexity of the process, you will definitely require support of a strong-skilled patent lawyer. But when it is a high time to apply to people who perform intellectual property jobs?
Actually there are two cases when it is necessary to contact the IP lawyers:
- when you make a great invention! If you are sure that you have a unique, fresh and useful idea for a product of service – be sure to contact the patent lawyer;
- if you are accused to have infringed upon some patents or having used it without a license, in this case a patent attorney can defend you.
With the second case everything is quite clear, but what about the first case? What are the decisive criteria to register the patent? Here are three basic criteria for you to check out and make sure that you really need a patent and as a consequence a patent lawyer:
- An invention must be really knew that is it shouldn’t be publically available before you field the first pattern application covering it; the applicant has to be the original inventor or his or her assignee, not someone who has taken a product or process developed by someone else;
- Your invention should function properly, so it should work as it is supposed (inventions which fail to function properly are not patentable);
- Your invention must show inventive ingenuity that is it shouldn’t be obvious to anyone who is skilled in this particular area.
A patent lawyer will provide you with two services prosecution and litigation:
- Prosecution – it is an official name for the process of patent application;
- Litigation – refers to enforcement of existing patents through patent infringement cases.
We should remind you that regular attorney can never fill in for patent attorney. IP specialists are licensed to practice by USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). So, be sure to find a certified specialist, with necessary qualification.
Moreover, before hiring IP specialist, do a simple research (for instance U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can provide you with the information on existing patents and pending patent applications) and ensure that no one else has already patented your idea.