When you come up with a new intellectual property, it’s crucial that you have a patent to protect yourself and your work. The process of patenting something can be quite confusing and difficult, so it would be in your best interest to work with a patent attorney. They can help you by dealing with paperwork and streamlining the process, which will save you effort, money, and time. That said, you can’t just go out and hire any random attorney. You need to choose the right one.
That said, here are three tips on how to find the best patent attorney to handle your case:
#1. Ask for estimates
A patent can last up to 20 years after you first file for it, but it can take up to three years before it’s approved for the first time. It’s a lengthy process and it can be difficult to estimate the costs ahead of time, especially if you’re not familiar with how the documents are managed. Therefore, it’s imperative that your attorney can give you a detailed estimate of how much you can expect to pay. It’s not uncommon for a patenting process to cost up to $30k throughout those 20 years, but there are many factors that can alter the overall costs.
You should ask your attorney these questions before you start working with them to gauge how much they know about the fees:
● Can you give me an estimate throughout the lifetime of the patent?
● How do I avoid churn during the argument phase?
● How much does the patent on my type of innovation cost on average?
● What’s the cost curve over the lifetime of the process?
#2. Long-term contracts are the way to go
While you may think that you can get away with paying a minimal amount for the hourly rates till the initial filing process is done, we highly advise against doing so. As mentioned, the patenting process can last up to 20 years. It may take longer if you decide to file for a continuation. If you have to pay for an hourly rate every year, the cost can add up very quickly throughout that time, which may not be the wisest long-term investment. Some people take this further by hiring a new lawyer every year to help them with the patenting process. When you keep looking for attorneys to work with on a daily basis, they won’t have a thorough understanding of your needs and situation.
Therefore, it’s almost always better to have a long-term contract with one attorney and let them deal with all the legal demands of the patent. You can also use their services in case someone copies your idea, which means you’ll get your money’s worth. No matter how you slice the situation, it’s always a better idea to sign a long-term contract with an experienced patent lawyer.
#3. Look for their experience in the industry
Each different type of invention requires a different patent agreement, so it’s imperative that you find the right option for your needs. For example, if you came up with a new AI system, you will need to work with an attorney who has dealt with tech firms before. On the other hand, if you’ve designed a completely new piece of production machinery, you will need to work with a lawyer who’s proficient in that area instead. The laws and regulations that govern these industries vary greatly, so it’s crucial that your lawyer knows everything there is to know about a certain area. This will help minimize the potential for failures and time wastage, making your every dollar go a little further.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with your patenting process, Buche Law is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.