When you have finished all your preliminary homework for your patent draft and you are ready to hire a patent attorney, there are several ways to go about it.
If you know someone in your field of expertise who has had success with getting a patent approved, ask them who they used as their attorney or agency. Maybe their attorney can help you as well.
If you don’t know anyone that you can get a good referral from then you can look in a directory of patent attorneys and find a list of people to choose from. Before you select an attorney or a patenting agency, such as patent service InventHelp agency, you will want to interview them and find out about their style of writing and their style of communicating.
This is critical to the success of your application process. You need to click with your attorney or agency.
It is also very important to look for someone who has done some work in the area your product pertains to. If they are completely in the dark about your area of expertise it may be difficult to bring them up to speed quickly.
You should ask the attorney in your initial interview about their experience in patent law. Have they had a high rate of success with applications or a low rate of success?
You obviously want to go with someone who has had a high rate of success. Take into consideration whether you find them easy to talk to. If not look somewhere else.
Remember that once you hire an attorney, you will have to pay a retainer fee and if you find that you have made a mistake after the fact, you will not get your retainer fee back.
So to summarize, these are the key factors in hiring a good patent agency, like InventHelp, or an attorney:
1. Find someone who has had experience in your field of expertise. You can try to get a referral from a college. If that is not possible rely on your interviewing process to find what you need.
2. Determine the attorneys writing and communicating style so that you can be sure that you can work easily with them.
3. Talk with the attorney to see if you click with them.
This is going to be your partner in the patent process, so the smoother the working relationship the better. One last point that you will want to find out about is the fee structure the attorney has.
Patent applications are filed by country. In the US, you have two choices. The first choice, a provisional application, gives you a foot in the door and is usually less expensive. However, it is not examined and expires after one year.
Provisional applications are often used if you are strapped for cash, time or both, as they only give rights for one year. However, provisional applications can’t become a patent; instead they give you a priority right (the right to a certain filing date) for everything described in the provisional application. This can be very powerful as the inventor who is first to file a patent application for a particular invention wins. Also, you have to file your patent application before you publicize your invention (countries outside the US) or within one year of publicizing your invention (the US).
Once you prepare your drawings and text, you need to do convert the drawing and text files to pdf format (not all pdf converters will work). Next you need to prepare the provisional application cover sheet. You then upload the files at to the US Patent and Trademark Office filing site, where you also pay the necessary fees. However preparing the cover sheet, and drawing and text files, can be tricky. There are patenting agencies, like InventHelp, that can help you.
The second choice is to file a US full patent application. This application is examined and can actually become a granted patent. It can claim priority from a US provisional application.
Full patent applications are examined and so they can become a patent. If you want actual patent protection for your idea, then you will need to file a full patent application at some point. Also most countries outside of the US only have full patent applications.
The process is very similar to a provisional application, except that your patent application has additional requirements, including the requirement for at least one claim. After you prepare your drawings and text, you need to convert the drawing and text files to pdf format (not all pdf converters will work). Next you need to prepare the full patent application documents, which include a cover sheet, declaration of the inventors and other documents. You then upload the files at to the US Patent and Trademark Office filing site, where you also pay the necessary fees. However preparing these documents, and drawing and text files, can be tricky. Patenting services, like InventHelp patent agency, can help you out.
The examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office will now examine your filed patent application if you filed a US full application.
What the patent examiner does
During examination, the claims of your patent application will be reviewed for patentability.