Why you need to speak with a Patent Attorney at the beginning of your invention journey instead of at the end
Many inventors and entrepreneurs put off calling a Patent Attorney for a free consultation until they have all their ducks in a row and feel ready to begin the patent process. Unfortunately, that sometimes means they made some mistakes along the way that will prevent them from getting a patent for their invention … mistakes that could have been easily avoided if they got advice from a Patent Attorney sooner.
You need good information to make good decisions
You’re an expert on your invention. But you need an expert in Patent Law to help you protect it.
A Patent Attorney can help you understand:
- What kinds of Intellectual Property protection are best for your business: Patent? Trademark? Copyright? Trade Secret?
- What aspects of your invention are patentable.
- What aspects of your invention are commercially worth protecting.
- How to broaden your patent claims to prevent competitor workarounds.
- How to protect yourself when disclosing your invention to investors, manufacturers, or potential licensees.
- When it’s safe to publicly reveal your invention.
- A timeline for your patent process and estimated fees for each step, so you can plan and budget accordingly.
If you are building your business on your invention, your business plan needs to include your intellectual property plan from the beginning.
Waiting too long to call could cause you to miss patent deadlines and lose your patent rights
Call now for your Free Consultation with a Patent Attorney, before it’s too late. Patents and Trademarks have deadlines, and you don’t want to accidentally lose your rights. An impulsive Facebook post excitedly sharing your invention could start a timer, limiting the window of time you have to secure your patent rights.
Or maybe you did your own research and decided you already missed important deadlines and can’t get a patent. You may be wrong about that too.
Don’t make legal decisions about patents or IP for your business without talking to an actual Patent Attorney. Many smart clients with advanced degrees have made the mistake of thinking they could do their own research and figure it out themselves, only to later discover that they had missed or misunderstood vital information and how it applied to their specific case. It’s important to call for a Free Consultation with a Patent Attorney before making any decisions that could affect your IP protection.
The more Patent Law research you do yourself, the more chances you have to get it wrong and make a fatal mistake
You don’t need to know anything about the patent process before you call for your Free Consultation — you only need to understand your invention
Don’t struggle to figure it out yourself.
A Patent Application is the most complicated legal document there is, requiring advanced degrees in both law and science/engineering. Additionally, years of patent writing experience is needed to produce a quality patent document.
Since by definition each invention is unique, applying Patent Law to your particular situation requires judgement you can’t get from search engines and generic articles.
You don’t need to know what questions to ask during your Patent Attorney free consultation. We will lead you through the whole process and ask you questions so we can figure out your situation together.
What you think you know may be wrong
Many times inventors call for a free consultation after doing their own research. They think they know exactly what IP protection they need, and present a plan for the work they want done. But after a confidential discussion about their invention and business, it quickly becomes obvious they made a bad plan based on bad information.
That’s not the inventor’s fault. There’s a lot of bad information out there by people who don’t have training in Patent Law.
Search Engines may show you misleading or inaccurate articles about patents
Search Engines show you the websites that are most relevant to your search, not necessarily the websites that are the most legally accurate. Many of those sites are written by people with no training in Patent Law, but with a good enough understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), they will rank higher than more legally accurate articles about getting a patent.
Google provides its own disclaimer for why you shouldn’t rely on internet searching for legal advice:
“Legal opinions in Google Scholar… should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed lawyer. Google does not warrant that the information is complete or accurate.“
Other Inventors may share patent information that applied to their situation, but not yours
Sometimes inventors consult with people they know who already patented their invention or applied for a trademark. Other inventors can explain their experience and what their Patent Attorney advised them, but your situation is likely entirely different from theirs, and may require a different strategy.
Patent Examiners are often incorrect about Patent Law
I’ve even had inventors call me after getting advice directly from a Patent Examiner in the US Patent and Trademark Office. Surprisingly, Patent Examiners are often incorrect on Patent Law, since Examiners are technology specialists, not lawyers. As a Patent Attorney, part of arguing for allowance of a client’s Patent Application includes educating the Patent Examiner on how to correctly apply Patent Law.
That’s why it’s important to call a Patent Attorney for a Free Consultation before making decisions based on information that may not be legally accurate, or may not apply to your situation.
Disclosing your invention will make the Patent Attorney Free Consultation more useful to you
Everything you disclose in the Free Consultation is confidential
All Patent Attorneys are under a legal and ethical obligation to keep your invention secret. This is different from the attorney/client privilege that protects communications between clients and attorneys. US Patent Regulations that govern Patent Attorney conduct require that all Patent Attorneys keep your invention secret — whether you hire them or not.
Therefore a Registered Patent Attorney does not need to sign an NDA. You’re already protected. But we can help advise you on who does need to sign an NDA before you talk to them.
The more you tell a Patent Attorney about your invention and business, the better advice you will get
To get good advice, you must give the Patent Attorney some understanding of what you’ve invented. Otherwise the advice will be more general, and less useful to you.
How we handle free consultations with a Patent Attorney at Strategic Patent Law
We don’t limit your free consultation to a specific amount of time
Our Firm is outcome-based, and we bill flat rates for the specific work you need. In fact, before we accept any payment, we want to make sure that we understand the work needed and what the scope of that work will be.
Since we don’t bill by the hour, we won’t run a stopwatch while we’re on the phone with you. We don’t cut you off at 30 minutes and tell you your Free Consultation is over. And we are also glad to speak with you more than once if you have more questions.
The main reason inventors delay calling for their free consultation with a Patent Attorney is that they don’t want to “waste” what they assume is a one-time-only limited 30-minute Free Consultation (as many other lawyers provide).
Instead, let’s talk as soon as you think you might want IP protection, so we can steer you in the right direction from the beginning to prevent you from making irreversible mistakes.
You don’t need to schedule an Appointment for your Free Consultation
Just pick up the phone when you have time to talk. We will answer if available or get back to you as soon as possible, usually within the same day.
Patent Attorney Free Consultations are available outside traditional Mon-Fri 9-5 hours
We don’t stick to a rigid 9am-5pm Monday through Friday work schedule. You can call us after dinner, or on the weekends. We make ourselves available by phone for our clients when they need a quick no-fee answer to a legal or business question.
All Patent Attorney Free Consultations are handled on the phone
Rather than maintain a network of local offices, which would add substantial overhead, we are highly skilled at working remotely with clients all over the US, using technology to enhance communication and be more reachable than a local Patent Attorney.
We can work with you, no matter where you are located
Patent Law is based on Federal Law, not State Law. Every Patent Attorney is licensed to practice nationally by passing the Patent Bar Exam given by the US Patent & Trademark Office. Consequently, a Patent Attorney from any US State can prepare patent applications for inventors and companies, regardless of where they are located.
All Patent Attorneys work remotely with the Patent Office electronically. So it doesn’t matter where we are located, either in relation to you or to the Patent Office. All patent work is conducted electronically.
More articles from Strategic Patent Law can be found at our Articles page.