Are you looking for a qualified patent attorney to represent you? It's important to remember that your patent attorney works for you, not the other way around. Once appointed, the USPTO will no longer contact you directly. A patent agent is someone who enjoys the challenge of patenting and has specialized in this field. The yellow pages list patent attorneys, but they are not distinguished from patent intermediaries. If you don't waste time and complete your courses on time without taking any breaks, you can become a patent attorney in as little as nine years.
The USPTO reserves the right to disqualify or suspend any attorney or patent agent found guilty of serious misdemeanors. When interviewing potential attorneys, ask how they usually conduct a patent search, how many patents they have successfully filed, how long it usually takes, if they are familiar with the technical area of your patent, and what the standard and additional costs are. Patent attorneys usually start out in law and then specialize in patent law. Although you may be able to obtain a patent by filing it yourself, a patent attorney is more likely to address more issues and ensure that your invention is adequately protected. A patent attorney specializes in patents just as you, the inventor, understand the scientific and technical details of your invention.
To learn more about what patent attorneys do and what it's like to be a patent attorney, read my article on this topic. According to the USPTO, a patent attorney requires a degree in science or engineering; however, there is an exception. If you already have a degree in science or engineering, you can expect to become a patent attorney within 4.5 years. The sooner you decide that you want to become a patent attorney, the better, as this will allow you to focus on studying the subjects required by the USPTO. When looking for someone to write your patent application, look for an agency or individual who specializes exclusively in patents and trademarks.