Picking a patent attorney is easy with Lime’s handy checklist of everything you need to consider (seriously, we made it easy!)
Read our checklist of everything you need in a patent attorney to help register and protect your invention, idea or product.
Back when it was just a big idea, you were cool telling everyone all about your invention-to-be. Now that it’s closer to being a real product, you’re not so sure you want to spill the beans. You’re starting to wonder if you need to find a patent attorney before you say anything else.
Good thinking. While it’s always great to stay open-minded and trusting, sometimes business is business. You need to protect your invention with the help of a patent attorney.
Here’s your checklist to make sure the patent attorney you find is right for you:
Are they an attorney or a patent agent? Either can be OK, but a patent agent can’t advise you in matters of litigation. Both have the exact same avenues available to protect your invention, though. How did you learn about them? Advertising can be a pretty reliable place to start, since legal advertising doesn’t allow big, splashy claims. The gold standard, though, is a referral from someone who has already used the attorney for something similar and been pleased with the process. How do they charge? It’s totally normal to pay a healthy retainer fee or up to $500 an hour, so make sure you know what’s included, how long they expect to spend on your patent and what the payment terms are.Do they itemize fees? In addition to their retainer or hourly rate, ask for a list of fees that you need to cover. The U.S. Patent Office requires certain fees for things like filing. Your lawyer will probably forward you a pass-through bill. How do they plan to take care of your patent? It’s not too early to ask for a road map. It may not be detailed until you hand over a deposit or retainer, but a knowledgeable attorney will be able to share a realistic assessment of your patentability and the process. How do they respond to your questions? You might want same-day contact, even if it’s to let you know you’ll get a more thorough answer the next day. Some people are fine talking to staff or waiting a couple days to hear back. How many patents have they registered already? You can do just fine with a younger patent attorney, and sometimes they charge less than more seasoned lawyers. It’s up to you if want an attorney who has been there, done that, no matter what. Are there any conflicts of interest? If there is, an ethical attorney will mention it as soon as he or she realizes. Ask if he or she represents competing products, brands that sell similar parts and components, or brands that sell competing products, even if the attorney hasn’t registered them. At Lime Design we can’t emphasize enough the importance of working with a qualified patent attorney as soon as possible. We work with attorneys to help create highly patentable inventions and products.
Lime Design works with trusted law firms and can recommend you to highly qualified patent attorneys and intellectual property firms. Call us at (954) 234-7863 and we’ll hook you up