If there were no patent attorneys, people who invent or design new things would always be in constant conflict with fraudsters who would claim that it was their invention, too. In which case, it would be an endless debate of ‘that was my idea’ or ‘I thought of doing it first.’ This is where patent attorneys come in.
In California, patent attorneys have rewarding jobs because of Silicon Valley companies and other tech areas where new things are being invented practically every day. If you’re from Southern California and you’re looking for someone to help you register your invention or design, there are dozens of ways to find an Orange County patent attorney as well as in nearby counties.
1. What’s A Patent Attorney?
In the United States, a patent attorney is a lawyer who is an expert on intellectual property law. They usually specialize in legal work to secure and protect the intellectual property rights of an inventor over an invention or design.
As an intellectual property lawyer, a patent attorney should have passed the state bar exam that all attorneys have to pass. In addition to the state bar exam, a patent attorney also has to pass a federal exam called the ‘patent bar exam.’ When they pass this test, a patent attorney is granted a license to represent clients before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
2. What Patent Attorneys Do
One of the primary jobs of a patent attorney is to assist their client, or their employer if they work for just one client, in obtaining a patent from the USPTO. This job includes preparing the application for a patent. An important aspect of this task is drafting the description of the invention and the claims of the inventor. The patent attorney also has to make the case before the USPTO why a patent should be granted for the invention’s claims.
Patents are granted to inventors who are able to demonstrate that they have invented something which is unique, useful, and non-obvious. There may be some degree of variations among countries as to what can be patented and what isn’t patentable. There are also variations about who can become a patent attorney. In some countries, individuals can apply for patents without the need to get a certification or specialized legal qualifications.
The drafting of the description is one of the most important aspects of patent applications. The person drafting should understand not only what things can be patented but also why something can be patented in the first place. This requires that the person drafting the description should understand the technical basis for the invention and be able to explain this to others as well as to the USPTO.
To be able to convince the patent office that something is indeed patentable, the patent attorney should have good communication skills and the ability to analyze technical documents to demonstrate that the new invention is different from all that has already been done on that subject. These tasks require precise writing, so they can convey the exact intended meaning to the patent office.
3. The Role of Patent Attorneys
The primary role of a patent attorney is to examine a claimed invention and decide whether the claimed invention or design can be patented. Throughout the entire process, they also perform the role of advising the clients of how the patent application will go forward. By the very nature and demands of this work, this role requires the lawyer to have technical knowledge not only in intellectual property law but also in the technical design itself.
The patent attorney is responsible for assisting and guiding clients throughout the patenting process. This requires a lot of research and analysis. They have to sift through volumes of documents containing technical information, designs, and claims; and then decide whether the proposed design is innovative enough to be granted a patent. In short, they have to determine whether the invention is inventive enough to be considered for a patent.
If you think you’ve got a strong grasp of technical know-how and have an eye for detail, and if you’re often excited about new inventions, then a career as a patent attorney might be suitable for you.
This job doesn’t end after a patent is awarded. When an infringement is committed, such as when the patent is copied or manufactured without permission from the inventor, it’s usually part of the patent attorney’s job to protect the property rights of the inventor. They also have to make sure that the law is enforced to stop the infringer from continuing with what they’re doing.
Because of the dynamic nature of inventions, patent attorneys shouldn’t only be on the lookout for infringements. They should also monitor if someone else is trying to file a patent application for something which is already covered by the patent of the invention of their clients. Again, this demands technical expertise on nuances and areas which are relevant to their client’s inventions.
A large part of why people are motivated to put in their life’s efforts into inventions and designs is that they can get both recognition and compensation for their work as long as they’re able to patent them. The underlying idea of patents is that no one can use your inventions or designs without your permission. If they do, they’ll have to pay you for using it and some damages, too, if you sue them. But first, make sure it’s patented.