A patent can be defined as a type of commercial asset that gives the owner exclusive rights to make, sell, use or import a particular product or service. This means that the owner can stop any other person from using, selling or making the patented product or service.
For your patenting process to run smoothly, you will need the services of a patenting attorney. It is very important that you find the right commercial litigation lawyer. This will make it possible for you to deal with any issues that may arise during the patenting process. The ideal attorney for your business is one that is conversant with the kind of products and services you deal in.
Here are some of the questions you need to answer to ensure you find the best patent lawyer for your business.
- Is the Lawyer Registered?
When looking at how to hire a lawyer, whether the lawyer is registered or not should be the first thing you look at. If the commercial litigation lawyer is not registered, it is best if you just walk away. According to the law, only lawyers who are registered to practice patenting law can represent you in court. A registered lawyer will either go by the title ‘patent attorney’ or ‘agent for obtaining patents’.
- Do They Have Any Technical Qualifications?
Every patent attorney needs to have some technical qualifications. Most of them will possess a degree in science or engineering among other fields. You need to go for a lawyer who possesses the technical know-how related to your business or product. You cannot hire a biologist for a mechanical patenting idea.
- Have They Worked in Your Industry Before?
You need to go for a lawyer that understands your industry. Since they understand the technology or concept better than a newbie, they’ll be best placed to help you with the patenting process. Due to their industry experience, they have a better chance of matching your communication style. For instance, if your business is in the manufacturing industry, it is better to go for a commercial litigation lawyer who can read and interpret technical drawings and CAD data.
- How Many Years Have They Been Practicing Patent Law?
It takes at least 5 years to train a patent attorney after they graduate with a technical degree. Therefore, when looking to hire a lawyer, you need to look at the lawyer’s experience. Check their track record and whether they have handled patents in your area of interest in that time.
- Do They Have Other Clients and Will There Be A Conflict of Interest?
Going for an attorney who is handling other clients with a case similar to yours can be a two-edged sword. Looking at it from a positive angle, a lawyer handling similar cases means that the client is a good fit for your needs. On the other hand, this can create a conflict of interest. Whether or not you decide to go for a lawyer handling a case similar to yours is down to preference. Be careful not to choose a commercial litigation lawyer who is not honest about the clients he represents. A client list is mostly public information. This information can be obtained from the online database for patent offices.