Why You Should Hire a Patent Attorney if You’re Filing a Patent as an Inventor

Written by Law School on . Posted in Intellectual property law, Patent and trademark law, Patent attorney minneapolis

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When many people think of an inventor, they tend to think of an engineer, mathematician, scientist, researcher, or any other kind of person that has strong technical knowledge and formal education in some form of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. And while many inventors do have backgrounds like these, there are also a number that don’t have any such skills, abilities, or formal education and yet have gone on to invent some of the most important and influential items known to man. This just goes to show that anyone with a great idea, a lot of creativity, a bit of hard work, and a little luck is capable of creating an influential invention that can change thousands of lives — and that includes you!

Take for example, Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx. Blakely didn’t come from a rich family, and while she did earn a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she also failed to pass the Law School Admission Test. While working as a part time stand up comedian, working part time at Walt Disney World, and hustling as a door to door salesperson selling fax machines, Blakely came up with the idea for Spanx. After years of research and development using her own money, Blakely wrote her own patent without the help of patent lawyer after buying a book on the subject. And with Oprah’s blessing in 2000, the rest was history!

Although hiring a patent attorney or a trademark attorney is not required by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), there are still many reasons why working with patent lawyers is still in your best interest. For example, although most entrepreneur’s have a limited budget and little time and feel as though that they can’t afford to cough up the cash for a patent lawyer, it’s important to realize that intellectual property is critical to an invention’s or start up’s success! Cutting too many corners early in the process may hinder the development and overall success of a product later down the road.

If you’re looking for patent lawyers in order to file a patent for your invention — which could be the next greatest thing by the way — here are just a few things to keep in mind.

Are you filing a provisional or non-provisional patent?

If you have an invention that you’d like to patent but don’t plan on working with a patent lawyer, a provisional patent is the most common way to go about filing. There are however, some things that you should be aware of if you don’t want to work with a patent lawyer that may come back to bite you down the road. As with any other kind of legal matter, filing a patent can be a long and complicated process. And if you’re unfamiliar with patent laws and the entire process itself, it’s incredibly easy to make a costly mistake that can throw a wrench in the entire process. It’s a much safer and more secure process to simply file a patent with an experienced attorney.

How you can keep costs down

As with any other kind of professional legal service, the legal fees associated with working with a patent attorney can quickly add up and be costly. While hiring a patent lawyer is absolutely a worthwhile investment, the fees can expensive for a struggling or up and coming inventor. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce costs when hiring a patent attorney. Keep in mind that there are patent lawyers that offer start up packages for inventors on a budget, so be sure to inquire about this when shopping for lawyers to work with.

Also, you may be able to find a patent attorney with a more affordable hourly rate in a smaller town or city, rather than a larger metropolitan or urban area. These lawyers are just as qualified as those in larger cities but have a lower hourly rate. Another way to reduce the cost of working with a lawyer even more is to create a something similar to a white paper that describes your invention in detail. Remember, time is money when it comes to reducing lawyer fees.

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