Let A Patent Agent Patent Your Invention

By: Jane Wyvern

Do you have an invention you would like to get a patent for? If so, then you have three choices for going about it. You can hire a patent attorney which is probably the safest thing to do but also extremely expensive. You can go through the patent process your self which will be much cheaper but extremely difficult to do. Or you can hire a patent agent. A patent agent is much cheaper than an attorney but has been specially trained and licensed and is fully competent to take your patent through the legal process.

A patent agent works on your behalf to draft the patent application and take it through the various stages to get it granted. A patent agent will also perform a thorough patent and trademark search in order to ensure that your invention will not infringe upon an existing patent or trademark.

This is an essential step in the patent process and one that is difficult for an individual to do alone. If not done properly, you could face legal troubles and huge fees if you are found at a later time to have violated another patent, even if it was done unintentionally.

Even though by law you are allowed to file your own patent and represent your case, the practice is actually frowned upon by the Patent and Trademark Office only because the process is so complex that an individual can rarely do it successfully. The patent examiner will encourage you to obtain the services of a competent attorney or patent agent before you proceed.

It is really in your own best interest to make sure you follow the law and properly register your patent or your invention may be at risk. You can often obtain a free initial consultation with a patent attorney to get a feel for what all is involved.

A patent attorney is an attorney at law who has also been specially trained in patent and trademark execution and law. In order to legally use the term ‘patent attorney’, he must pass examinations on the preparation and filing as well as the prosecution of patent applications.

Patent agents must also receive their designation from the Commissioner of Patents and pass similar examinations. A patent agent does not have to be an attorney, but does require special training.

Often, patent attorneys will have patent agents on staff. This makes for a good situation for you in that you have a patent attorney available if need, but can use the services of a patent agent to do the majority of the work so your fee will not be as high.

Many patent agents work for themselves and because they are independent, may offer more affordable rates. Just make sure whichever patent agent you choose, that you verify they are licensed and registered by the Commissioner of Patents.

You can find a patent agent by looking in your yellow pages or you can obtain a list of patent agents from the patent office. They will be more than happy to provide you with a list although they will not go as far as to make specific recommendations.

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