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What Does a Patent Attorney Do?

There are two types of patent attorneys: those who deal with patent application and those who deal with patent infringement.

Patent application attorneys, also known as patent prosecutors, will apply for your patent on your behalf, dealing with the tough task of showing that your product/process is unique.

Patent infringement attorneys, will represent you if someone has reinvented your idea or is profiting off your product or process without your permission.

How Do I Know If I Need a Patent Attorney?

If you need to file a patent, you likely want to talk with a patent attorney. This attorney should not only specialize in patent applications, but should also have a background in a related area. This way, the attorney has all the information needed to effectively prove that your product is unique.

You may need a parent attorney specializing in infringement cases if someone else is using your product for profit or without your permission. Also, you may want to hire an attorney if someone else is claiming that you're profiting from a patented product illegally.

How Much does a Patent Attorney Cost?

Lawyers choose their method of billing, but patent attorneys often charge by the hour for filling out paperwork and representing you in court. Rates will vary depending on the complexity of the case, as well as whether you live in a big city or a small town. Negotiate a rate with your lawyer up front to avoid costly surprises. Be aware that your lawyer's rate won't include the cost to actually file, issue, or maintain the patent.

What Should I Expect When Working with a Patent Attorney?

If you are able to show that your product or process is unique from the others that already exist in the field, they you'll earn yourself a patent. Your patent will be valid for approximately the next 15-20 years, and in that time you have the sole rights to your invention. If the patent is denied, you can always file again, but it might be a smart idea to make some changes to your product to distinguish it from others like it. A patent attorney will be the most able to determine whether your product has a likely chance of being accepted and can guide you through the process of filing.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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