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Patent Lawyers: What They Do, How They Differ, and How They Can Help You

In 1790, it only cost approximately $5 to obtain a patent. Although the prices have gone up significantly, so has the number of patents applied for on an annual basis. Today, companies apply for patents on gene sequences, sophisticated drugs, and obscure lines of computer code. However, most patent applicants don't do it all alone.

Patent lawyers are integral to the patent process, from inception to ownership. Patent law is a complex branch of the legal system, and it takes many years to become proficient in the application process. Whether you're applying for a patent or simply curious, here's everything you need to know about hiring patent lawyers.

What do Patent Attorneys Do?
Patent attorneys can help inventors in a wide variety of ways. They can assist in researching an invention, guide them through the patent process, and ultimately secure a patent that will protect an invention. However, it takes a little bit more than law school to obtain all of this knowledge. Learning how to write and defend a patent requires countless hours of study under an experienced patent lawyer. Like most other professions, passing a simple test isn't enough to make an expert in the field. That being said, any patent lawyer you do come across is guaranteed to have put in the necessary work.

How Does One Patent Lawyer Differ From Another?
Unlike personal injury law, there are few divisions among patent lawyers in terms of field of study. However, there are some patent firms to be wary of. If you're an individual inventor or working with a small business, medium- to large-scale patent firms may not provide the best service. These firms often assign a junior attorney to your case, rather than a senior. However, patent attorney services run on a small scale will be able to provide excellent service for you as an individual and help you through every step of the patent process.

How Do You Choose the Right Patent Lawyer?
Patent law is a highly specialized field, and those who practice need to have excellent technical knowledge. However, that doesn't mean that every lawyer with a background in science or technology is going to write the best patent for you. A great patent lawyer must possess the ability to explain, elucidate, clarify, and simplify the process in order to create a basic understanding for their client. If you find a patent lawyer who possesses all of these qualities, then you're on your way to creating a fool-proof patent.

Obtaining a patent isn't an easy process, nor is it a fast one. However, once you understand the duties of a patent lawyer and how they can assist you, your patent should be well on its way.

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