How do I choose a patent attorney or agent?

How do I choose a patent attorney?.

This is a nice article on how to choose a patent attorney. Patent agents should be considered here, too (a patent agent, fyi, is an individual, not an attorney, who has been admitted to practice before the US Patent & Trademark Office).

Patent attorneys (or agents) are not one-size-fits-all. We have different interests, different areas of expertise, different strengths, different weaknesses. The trick is to find the particular attorney or agent whose combination of strengths, weaknesses, expertise and interests best meets your needs.

Doing a bit of research on the attorney or agent you’re thinking about hiring is simply due diligence. A patent is a major investment; make sure you’ve got someone who can take your matter and do the best possible job with it.

Bear in mind that if your matter involves any representation outside of the US Patent & Trademark Office, you will need an attorney; a patent agent cannot represent anyone (except him/herself) in court.

Late-Night Infomercials

Information About Some of the Late-Night Infomercial Companies.

This link is why NOT to use the services of the late-night infomercials that tell you that your patent can be pending in as little as 24 hours and promise you the moon.

A bona fide patent attorney or agent does not make promises about marketing your invention; we merely do our best to obtain protection for you. We can sometimes send you to bona fide marketing experts who might be able to help you with your invention’s market, but that is the end of our involvement with your marketing.

A bona fide patent attorney or agent does not promise you the moon. In fact, I spend a lot of my initial meeting with inventors popping their bubbles and letting them know, as best I can, what the required investment in their patent will be. If the inventor wants to pull the plug at any time, all s/he has to do is tell me; I don’t threaten to sue over breach of contract if an inventor runs out of money; I simply inform him or her that no money means no work and what the consequences are of that. It then becomes entirely the inventor’s decision as to whether or not to proceed.

A bona fide patent attorney or agent wouldn’t be caught dead advertising in a glitzy half-hour commercial.

A bona fide patent attorney or agent will charge you a fair price for the work to be done. Yes, we often require that the funds be deposited with us, but we then earn our fees.

You can check out who is a real, live patent attorney or agent by visiting the USPTO’s website atĀ and doing a search. Fill in as many or as few of the fields as you believe would give you meaningful results.

Be very very careful before you invest with a late-night television invention promoter; you don’t always get what you pay for, as demonstrated in the link above.