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Author Topic: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?  (Read 525 times)

ralphael

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I'm not from US but would like a US patent attorney service to help me write a proper patent and file it. Where should I look not to get scammed/patent stolen/poor service?
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Euro-Pat-Att

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #1 on: 05-19-18 at 04:26 am »

I would use (have used) Google in the past to find patent attorneys in countries other than my own, including US.

There is also the possibility on the USPTO website to search for a patent attorney (but in my experience there are quite a few there who are no longer active, but just keep their registration alive). That should be a guarantee against scams.

Consider using a patent agent instead of a patent attorney. From what I understand, for the basic stuff (drafting, filing, standard prosection) they are apparently equally qualified, but usually cheaper.

Some people suggest (and I have seen some evidence of it, but not made a full study of it) that, for cost reasons, you are better off finding a patent agent/attorney away from the major business centers on the East coast and West coast.

I tend to favour small practices (1,2 or 3 attorneys/agents) for better service.

Patent stolen: extremely unlikely. I know this is the fear of many inventors, but the attorney/agent is in the business of providing legal services to his/her clients, not in the business of buying/selling patents or commercialising inventions.

Another way could be to approach a patent attorney in your home country. They will usually have a few US patent attorneys/agents in their network. This will not be the cheapest option though, as they will likely charge for the service.

Actually, while there is a difference in patent drafting between various countries, I dare say that there are more similarities than differences. You could also ask a patent attorney in you home country to draft the application, and then get a US agent/attorney to 'Americanize' it.

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MYK

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #2 on: 05-19-18 at 06:09 am »

Patent stolen: extremely unlikely. I know this is the fear of many inventors, but the attorney/agent is in the business of providing legal services to his/her clients, not in the business of buying/selling patents or commercialising inventions.
This is unlikely to be a problem with anyone who is registered;  it might sometimes be a problem for the "invention submission companies" that have been defrauding inventors for decades.  They often file worthless provisionals, leaving the inventor without much recourse.  Also avoid the Indian firms.
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

ralphael

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #3 on: 05-19-18 at 09:02 am »

Thank you. Just to be clear, are both agents and patent attorneys state or federally registrered, and their list can be accessed online? For example there are some patent attorneys in freelancer networks but I would like to verigy they are genuine (registered) attorneys rather than filling fake informations in their freelancer accounts (which don't require verification most of the time).

Another question that arose: does it matter which state the patent attorney/agent is from?
This question can be divided into two questions:
1) does it matter what state the patent is filed from?
2) if no, are there states which are more preferrable for various reasons?

Thank you again.
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MYK

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #4 on: 05-19-18 at 09:42 am »

Thank you. Just to be clear, are both agents and patent attorneys state or federally registrered, and their list can be accessed online? For example there are some patent attorneys in freelancer networks but I would like to verigy they are genuine (registered) attorneys rather than filling fake informations in their freelancer accounts (which don't require verification most of the time).

This is the USPTO's agent/attorney search tool:

https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/practitionerSearchEntry

If the person is listed here, then you can be sure that at least there is someone with that name registered -- on some random freelancer website, you may be emailing with a complete fraud who is stealing that person's identity, though, so you should take care to check that the person you have contacted is really the person who is registered.  You can look up the person's business/law firm website and contact the firm directly, rather than through some random freelancer website, to reduce the risk of contacting a fraud.

Note also, the information at the USPTO may be out of date, or may be a home address rather than a work address.

Another question that arose: does it matter which state the patent attorney/agent is from?
This question can be divided into two questions:
1) does it matter what state the patent is filed from?
2) if no, are there states which are more preferrable for various reasons?
(1) "State" as in nation-state, or as in U.S. state?  Patents are a federal-only system, so it doesn't matter where the attorney is residing.  As a foreign individual, you could also use a practitioner who is residing outside the U.S.

(2) It doesn't matter where you file from since it all goes to the USPTO anyway.  (Exception: if you have to beat a filing deadline over a priority claim and have already missed the deadline in the continental U.S., "express mail practice" from Hawaii, if it hasn't been buried under a cubic mile of lava, can still be used to get that last two or three hours of delay.)
« Last Edit: 05-19-18 at 09:45 am by MYK »
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

ralphael

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #5 on: 05-19-18 at 10:14 am »

Quote
may be a home address rather than a work address.

What is the difference as long as its in the registry?
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MYK

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #6 on: 05-20-18 at 04:13 am »

Quote
may be a home address rather than a work address.

What is the difference as long as its in the registry?
Well, for one thing, most people don't like being contacted at home about work matters.  For another, they may be working directly for a company and it's rather pointless to contact them if they are in-house, since their employment contract would most likely prohibit them from working on outside matters.  For a third, it may be outdated information.

It's useful to use the site to check that they exist;  it doesn't tell you that they're available to take you on as a client.
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

ralphael

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #7 on: 05-20-18 at 11:44 am »

Thanks. Any chance USPTO has a list of patent attorneys and agents or firms rather than a search form?

Thank you for the latter as now I can verify if a patent attorney I find is real or not

If this is not against the rules, any patent attorney/firm recommendations would be very welcome. If it is against the rules, just ignore this paragraph.

Again thank you.
« Last Edit: 05-20-18 at 11:46 am by ralphael »
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Robert K S

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #8 on: 05-20-18 at 08:59 pm »

If you start cold-calling attorneys and a lot of them turn you away or pass you off to other attorneys they recommend who turn out to be dead-ends, don't take it personally.  Some of them just won't take independent inventors, preferring to do business with repeat clients who will bring them a lot of business; others may already have a lot of work in your technology field and don't want to create conflicts of interest with existing clients.  (These motivations for blowing you off are not mutually exclusive.)

If you just keep trying, you will find the practitioner who is the right fit for you.  I agree with the advice given above that you will find it more cost-effective to go with a practitioner who does not reside in one of the larger or more expensive cities in the U.S.  Particularly stay away from New York, L.A., Boston, Chicago, the Bay Area (San Francisco and nearby cities), and most other East Cost cities.  There are plenty of great attorneys and agents in the Midwest whose costs of living, and thus legal fees, are lower.
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This post is made in the context of professional discussion of general patent law issues and nothing contained herein may be construed as legal advice.

ralphael

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #9 on: 05-21-18 at 04:35 am »

than you.

Do I have the right idea that I shouldnt provide my invention to a practicioner unless he/she decides to work with me to not risk giving the invention away, or does it not matter as they are legally required not to discolose any invention presented to them even if the presenter is not legally their client yet? Or should I not present the invention for other reasons?

Related question: at which point am I considered their client? A formal written contract is required or any written agreement via say emails is also sufficient to gaining that status?
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MYK

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #10 on: 05-21-18 at 06:02 am »

Thanks. Any chance USPTO has a list of patent attorneys and agents or firms rather than a search form?
You could just leave the form blank and look at all the results.  There are probably less than 100,000 listings.  Probably at least 40,000 of them are still active.

As far as how much to disclose up front, they'll want a general idea of the field of the invention in order to check whether you are doing something within the areas they've worked on for others.  After that, they'll decide whether or not they can, and want to, work with you.
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

ralphael

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Re: how to get in contact with a patent attorney online?
« Reply #11 on: 05-21-18 at 06:42 am »

Thank you.

Quote
As far as how much to disclose up front, they'll want a general idea of the field of the invention in order to check whether you are doing something within the areas they've worked on for others.  After that, they'll decide whether or not they can, and want to, work with you.
I see.
Well, I think this is all I needed to know.
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