When you need to patent an invention, your first thought will likely be to search the internet for “patent lawyers near me.” While this will help you find a qualified patent attorney, finding one you can trust to look out for your best interests can be a bit more challenging. Before you choose a patent lawyer, it’s important to speak with each person you’re considering working with. Here are a few of the most important questions to ask before hiring a patent attorney.
What Experience Do You Have?
The best patent attorneys will have experience working with people in your industry. Currently, patents are used heavily in 12 different industries, but if your invention is original and utilizes the proper materials, you should be able to get a patent. Once issued, the patent will last for 20 years from the date of application, protecting your ideas from being used by another person or company. Finding an attorney that understands your industry and how the invention will be used can help you better prepare to file for the patent, address any legal issues that might arise, and help you defend your invention if anyone tries to replicate it in the future.
How Much Will the Patent Cost Me?
With every patent, there will be a filing fee with the government. In addition to this fee, your patent lawyer will also charge an hourly rate to help you prepare and file the application. When interviewing attorneys you found when you searched for “patent lawyers near me,” make sure they explain their fees, how they bill, and when payments are due. Remember, a great attorney may not necessarily be cheap, but they can and will save you money on potential legal issues that may otherwise come up if the patent is filed incorrectly.
Do You Focus Solely on Intellectual Property Issues?
When hiring a patent attorney, it’s important that you choose a law firm that specializes in your area of concern. A generalist may know something about intellectual property and patents, but they won’t have the same amount of expertise and knowledge as an attorney that focuses solely on patents and patent litigation. Look for a law firm that focuses only on intellectual property.