A patent attorney is one who helps you file a patent on a new product or invention, protecting your legal and financial rights to that product. They can usually also help with things like copyrighting your written work, music, or artwork, and filing a trademark for a business logo and other such creation. If you've never worked with a patent attorney before or filed for a patent, you may not understand what's involved in the process. Note a few commonly asked questions so you understand why these professionals are so important and how they can protect you.
1. Does a patent attorney actually get the patent?
Your patent, copyright, trademark, and other such protections are actually issued by the government, not the attorney. The attorney is someone who can help you with the paperwork and with the filing process. This includes sending in any designs, schematics, engineering plans, blueprints, photographs, and other supporting papers that can better protect your product and your design.
2. Why hire a patent attorney if I can file the paperwork on my own?
Note that a patent attorney can't guarantee that you will actually obtain the patent, but using them for your filing can increase your chance of being approved for the patent. Because they are familiar with the type of paperwork the government needs to see, your chances of approval are better than if you filed on your own and omitted certain documents or papers.
A patent attorney can also ensure that your rights are protected when it comes to the product themselves. They can tell you what part of the product or item you've created is protected by patent law so you can consider filing a patent infringement case if someone were to copy your product and violate your patent.
3. What if the product is similar to another product?
Creating a product that is similar to another product doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get a patent for your own product. Much of this depends on the modifications you've done and how many similarities there are between the two products. A patent attorney can compare your product with ones that are already patented and on the market, and note if you may be eligible for a patent.
Don't assume that because you've improved on an existing product or there are similar items being sold that you're not eligible for a patent, but speak to a patent attorney from a firm like Ahearn Fox with your drawings and blueprints and other papers and he or she can advise on your options.