What‌ ‌are‌ ‌the Essential ‌Questions‌ ‌to‌ ‌Ask‌ ‌a‌ ‌Patent‌ ‌Attorney‌ ‌about‌ ‌Legal‌ ‌Expenses‌ ‌and‌ ‌Intellectual‌ ‌Property?‌

A‌‌consultation‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌intellectual‌ ‌property‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌can‌ ‌assist‌ ‌you‌ ‌in‌ ‌learning‌ ‌more‌ ‌about‌ ‌trademarks‌ ‌and‌ ‌how‌ ‌they‌ ‌can‌ ‌help‌ ‌your‌ ‌business.‌ ‌In addition, an‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌can‌ ‌give‌ ‌you‌ ‌a‌ ‌summary‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌registration‌ ‌process‌ ‌and‌ ‌describe‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌manage‌ ‌and‌ ‌protect‌ ‌your‌ ‌brands.‌ ‌

Are‌ ‌you‌ ‌standing‌ ‌civil‌ ‌or‌ ‌criminal‌ ‌legal‌ ‌actions?‌

‌Are‌ ‌you‌ ‌beginning‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌business‌ ‌and‌ ‌want‌ ‌some‌ ‌information‌ ‌on‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌best‌ ‌structure‌ ‌it?‌

‌Despite‌ ‌‌ ‌your‌ ‌particular‌ ‌situation,‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌dozens‌ ‌of‌ ‌reasons‌ ‌you‌ ‌might‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌hire‌ ‌the‌ ‌professional‌ ‌services‌ ‌of‌ ‌an‌ ‌expert‌ ‌attorney.‌

A‌ ‌tech‌ ‌company’s‌ ‌relationship‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌patent‌ ‌law‌ ‌firm‌ ‌is‌ ‌usually‌ ‌‌ ‌long‌ ‌.‌ ‌That’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌significant to‌ ‌do‌ ‌your‌ ‌due‌ ‌attention‌ ‌to‌ ‌assure‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌choosing‌ ‌the‌ ‌right‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌

intellectual-property‌ ‌requirements.‌ ‌

Most‌ ‌patent‌ ‌attorneys‌ ‌concentrate‌ ‌on‌ ‌either‌ ‌patent‌ ‌prosecution‌ ‌(the‌ ‌method‌ ‌of‌ ‌getting‌ ‌patent‌ ‌rights‌ ‌for‌ ‌inventions)‌ ‌or‌ ‌patent‌ ‌litigation‌ ‌(managing‌ ‌legal‌ ‌disputes‌ ‌about‌ ‌whether‌ ‌someone‌ ‌is‌ infringing‌ ‌on a‌ ‌current‌ ‌patent).‌

‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌advice‌ ‌about‌ ‌defending‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌company’s‌ ‌innovations,‌ ‌search‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌firm‌ ‌(or‌ ‌a‌ ‌group‌ ‌within‌ ‌a‌ ‌firm)‌ ‌that‌ ‌concentrates‌ ‌on‌ ‌patent‌ ‌prosecution.‌

At least,‌ ‌your‌ ‌patent‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌should‌ ‌guide‌ ‌you‌ ‌on:‌ ‌

  • Payments,‌ ‌advantages,‌ ‌risks,‌ ‌and‌ ‌benefits‌ ‌of‌ ‌filing‌ ‌patent applications ‌. ‌
  • Possibilities‌ ‌for‌ ‌preserving‌ ‌your‌ ‌invention‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌United‌ ‌States‌ ‌and‌ ‌foreign‌ ‌countries,‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌should‌ ‌consider‌ ‌provisional‌ ‌applications‌.

But‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌jump‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌longer‌ ‌to‌ ‌decide‌ ‌whether‌ ‌this‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌an‌ ‌efficient‌ ‌partnership‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌long‌ ‌route.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌following‌ ‌questions‌ ‌will‌ ‌aid‌ ‌you‌ ‌in‌ ‌gathering‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌knowledge‌ ‌you‌ ‌require‌ ‌before‌ ‌initiating‌ ‌a‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌decision.‌

1. Technical Expertise

You need to question the attorney to check if they have personal experience with the kind of products you want to protect and experience to help you define the invention to preserve its value.

In addition, you want someone who understands how to patent an idea like yours and turn it into worthy intellectual property. ‌Therefore an‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌must‌ ‌hold‌ ‌a‌ ‌degree‌ ‌of‌ ‌technical‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌as‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌by‌ ‌having‌ ‌‌ ‌a‌ ‌bachelor’s‌ ‌degree‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ specialized area. ‌

The‌ ‌following‌ ‌questions‌ ‌will‌ ‌help‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌access your‌ ‌attorney’s‌ ‌technical‌ ‌criteria.‌ ‌

1. What‌ ‌areas‌ ‌of‌ ‌technology‌ ‌do‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌expertise‌ ‌with‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌patent‌ ‌attorney?‌ ‌

2. What‌ ‌qualifications‌ ‌do‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌that‌ ‌confirm‌ ‌your‌ ‌skill‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌field?‌ ‌

2. Work Criteria

It‌ ‌is‌ ‌necessary‌ ‌to‌ ‌work‌ ‌jointly‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌to get a‌ ‌patent to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌work‌ ‌great‌ ‌with‌ ‌them.‌ ‌

It’s‌ ‌also‌ ‌important‌ ‌to‌ ‌understand‌ ‌with‌ ‌whom‌ ‌you‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌working.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌choose‌ ‌a‌ ‌firm,‌ ‌various‌ ‌associates‌ ‌may‌ ‌work‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌case,‌ ‌making‌ ‌it‌ ‌even‌ ‌more‌ ‌critical‌ ‌for‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌know‌ ‌the‌ ‌team’s support.‌ ‌The‌ ‌following‌ ‌questions‌ ‌can‌ help‌ ‌you-‌ ‌

1. Do‌ ‌you‌ ‌typically‌ ‌serve‌ ‌large‌ ‌corporations,‌ ‌universities,‌ ‌startups,‌ ‌independent‌ ‌

inventors‌ ‌—‌ ‌or‌ ‌a‌ ‌blend‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌above?‌ ‌

2. Ask how long it will take to make the drawings and how you will work with their team to sketch and approve them.

3. Who‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌firm‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌running‌ ‌on‌ ‌my‌ ‌account?‌ ‌Can‌ ‌you‌ ‌tell‌ ‌me‌ ‌about‌ ‌their‌ ‌

experience?‌ ‌

4. What‌ ‌process‌ ‌will‌ ‌you‌ ‌understand‌ ‌when‌ ‌filing‌ ‌my‌ ‌patent‌ ‌application?‌ ‌ ‌

5. How‌ ‌often do‌ ‌you‌ ‌engage‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌clients?‌ ‌

6. What‌ ‌restrictions‌ ‌do‌ ‌you‌ ‌expect‌ ‌for‌ ‌my‌ ‌case?‌ ‌

7. Who will register your patent application, and who will keep a record of the answers made by the U.S. Patent Office?

 ‌3. Legal Expertise

A‌ ‌law‌ ‌firm’s‌ ‌website‌ ‌might‌ ‌reveal‌ ‌intellectual property‌ ‌services,‌ ‌but‌ ‌that‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌always‌ ‌indicate‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌have‌ ‌experience‌ ‌guiding‌ ‌tech‌ ‌companies‌ ‌or‌ ‌favorably‌ ‌prosecuting‌ ‌cases‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌USPTO.‌ ‌Search‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌patent‌ ‌lawyer‌ ‌who‌ ‌has‌ ‌significant‌ ‌experience‌ ‌advising‌ ‌patent‌ ‌filings.‌

‌Here‌ ‌are‌ some‌ ‌guiding‌ ‌topics‌ ‌to‌ ‌obtain‌ ‌out‌ ‌about‌ ‌their‌ ‌experience.‌ ‌

1. Are‌ ‌you‌ ‌authorized‌ ‌to‌ ‌practice‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌USPTO?‌ ‌ ‌

2. Are‌ ‌you‌ ‌in‌ ‌excellent‌ ‌standing‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌USPTO‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌state‌ ‌bar‌ ‌association‌ ‌(i.e.,‌ ‌have‌ ‌

not‌ ‌been‌ ‌disbarred‌ ‌or‌ ‌formally‌ ‌disciplined)?‌ ‌

3. Do‌ ‌you‌ ‌exercise‌ ‌in‌ ‌patent‌ ‌prosecution‌ ‌and‌ ‌patent‌ ‌litigation?‌ ‌4. How‌ ‌many‌ ‌patent‌ ‌applications‌ ‌do‌ ‌you‌ ‌‌ ‌file‌ ‌per‌ ‌year?‌ ‌5. How‌ ‌do‌ ‌you‌ ‌define‌ ‌progress‌ ‌in‌ ‌handling‌ ‌a‌ ‌patent‌ ‌application?‌ ‌What‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌your‌ ‌

progress‌ ‌rate?‌ ‌ ‌

6. Do you have any recommendations or references I could contact to ask about their experience working with you?

7. How‌ ‌have‌ ‌your‌ ‌clients‌ ‌profited‌ ‌from‌ ‌your‌ ‌work?‌ ‌(Have‌ ‌they‌ ‌been‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌authorize‌ ‌or‌ ‌implement‌ ‌the‌ ‌patents‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌outlined?‌ ‌Have‌ ‌they‌ ‌been‌ ‌capable‌ ‌of‌ ‌raising‌ ‌funding,‌ ‌selling‌ ‌their‌ ‌portfolio,‌ ‌or‌ ‌being‌ ‌procured?)‌ ‌

8. Do‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌expertise‌ ‌to‌ ‌file‌ ‌international‌ ‌jurisdictions?‌ ‌

4. Payment Criteria

While‌ ‌influential‌ ‌patent‌ ‌counsel‌ ‌can‌ ‌get‌ ‌costly,‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌a‌ ‌professional‌ ‌attorney‌ ‌is‌ ‌also‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌investment‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌IP‌ ‌assets.‌ ‌Pick‌ ‌a patent ‌attorney‌ ‌who is honest‌ ‌about‌ ‌their‌ ‌billing‌ ‌system‌ ‌and‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌ ‌you‌ ‌‌ ‌accurate‌ ‌measures‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌costs‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌anticipate‌ ‌incurring.‌ ‌

On the other hand, be careful of patent attorneys who charge meager fees. The cost savings might motivate you, but it’s typically a significant threat for an attorney who’s inexperienced or can’t hold clients. Instead, search for someone who offers reliable services at competing rates.

Also, you need to be upfront about your budget so that your attorney can tailor their suggestions to your requirements.

  1. What’s your billing pattern — hourly or flat fee; demand or project billing? If you bill per hour, what’s your per-hour rate? What additions of time do you bill in, if any?
  2. Do you price your clients for short phone calls or brief emails?
  3. Can you provide a per-project cost estimation (patent searches, filing a provisional patent application, etc.)?
  4. Can you assess the overall cost of filing a non-provisional patent application?


Don’t be scared to get all the information you require before hiring a patent attorney. Your business, IP assets, and money are at stake in making this long-term functioning relationship.

The patent lawyer operates for you. You are choosing them to achieve a complex project that may include a lot of people. Therefore, you require an attorney who can handle writing the patent, be professional, and have legal expertise. And, you want to find out early if you and the attorney share the same ideas and processes.

Search for an attorney who practices in patent prosecution. If you register a patent, you may prefer to work with an attorney practicing patent applications. But before you choose one, you should evaluate their qualifications and working process.

Patents are valuable and essential. However, one of the appropriate ways to ensure that your patent is well-composed and on a budget is to choose the best attorney. These questions will help make sure your patent attorney has the proper education, the best team, the whole experience, and someone you can operate with.

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