How to Choose a Good Patent Attorney

"An informed inventor is our best client."

It is very difficult to determine who is and who isn't a good patent attorney. Even if someone has used a patent attorney and thinks they did a good job, it doesn't necessarily mean they did. I would like to provide you with some tips that will aid you in the search for a good patent attorney.

Tips for a choosing a good patent attorney.

1   Make sure the patent attorney has a working knowledge of the invention's technology.

2   The patent attorney should tell you to make the invention as simple as possible. It's harder to "design around" a simple patented item than a complex one.

3   A good patent attorney will never tell an inventor that something is too simple to be patented, or that the invention cannot be patented. A patent attorney who states that an invention is not patentable risks a malpractice lawsuit, unless they have knowledge of the prior art.

4   The patent attorney should know how to write claims that will make it difficult for someone to "design around" your invention. They should also be able to explain how they write the claims to accomplish this goal. I make my independent claims as broad as possible and leave the detail for the dependent claims, because for the most part, if an inventor can avoid infringing the independent claim, he has avoided all the claims dependent on it.

5   You should ask the patent attorney what occupies most of his or her time. Is it litigation or is it writing patents? Choose a patent attorney who spends most of his or her time writing patents.

6   Make sure you use an attorney who is registered with the patent office. If the patent attorney is registered, call the patent office to see if they are in good standing. This will help save you from patent scam organizations that prey on unsuspecting inventors.

7   The following symptoms, I believe, are evidence of a mediocre patent attorney: Details of the invention are not important to them; When they write patents, the names of each element are not consistent throughout the specification and claims; The attorney claims to be expert at writing an application for any area of technology; The patent attorney doesn't spend enough time learning the subtleties of your invention.

8   In most cases, nearly any patent attorney can get a patent to issue; but it takes time, effort, skill and dedication to write a great patent application. A great patent application is one that can't easily be "designed around."