Using a Professional

A guide about choosing and commissioning a professional

A Patent Agent or Attorney is a legal professional who specialises in representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition or arguing your corner with the patent examiner.

In the US a Patent Agent is qualified to represent you at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), whereas a Patent Attorney is qualified to represent you both at the USPTO and a State Bar.

However the titles Patent Agent and Patent lawyer are used interchangeably in some other jurisdictions. In the UK the terms Patent Agent, Patent Lawyer and Patent Attorney are largely interchangeable. CIPA (The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) is the professional and examining body for Patent Agents in the UK.

Fees: Professional fees are expensive as you are seeking expert advice that may help in securing a granted patent of value, and patent law is like any legal field, complex and multifaceted. In the US in particular, professional fees are high, and Patent Agents are often quite expensive charging between $2500 and $5000 to draft and file your initial application. Patent Attorneys will cost more, typically charging over $5000.

A granted patent can be a very valuable document and so if money is no issue then it is well worth using a professional to draft your application. It is important to use the correct legal terms used and the right wording for the claims of your patent application to ensure the best chance of getting a granted patent. Even if you have experience in this area a professional may well be your best bet.

UK IPO - The Patent Office
Guide to dealing with the UK IPO - The UK Patent Office
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), also known as the Patent Office, is the only organisation that can grant a patent in the UK. This page summarises what they do and the key information you need to know.
Can I patent my Idea?
What can a patent cover? What does it not cover?
It is sometimes difficult to work out whether your new idea is something that can be patented, whether it is worth patenting at all or whether there is a better way to protect it than patenting.

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