When it comes to protecting your inventions and ideas, it is important to understand the difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney. A patent agent is a person who has been approved by the U. S. Patent Bar Association and is qualified to handle almost any matter related to the filing of patents before the USPTO.
On the other hand, a patent attorney is a person who has studied law and has graduated from law school, passed the State Bar Association exam, and the USPTO exam. While hiring a patent attorney may cost more than hiring a patent agent, it's usually worth the expense. Working with a patent attorney provides you with all the knowledge and skills you'll need to navigate the process of obtaining patent protection.
Patent attorneys and agentsare similar in that they are both allowed to evaluate patents, work with inventors, draft applications, and communicate with the USPTO. However, unlike patent attorneys, patent agents cannot represent their clients in other legal matters, such as prosecuting an infringement in court. Each of them has their own strengths, and they often work together to file patents and applications.
The agents handle the initial drafts and the lawyers refine and polish them later. This allows them to file patent applications, advise clients on the patentability of their inventions and evaluate the state of the art. When it comes to legal matters related to patents, it is important to remember that only patent attorneys are authorized to provide legal advice if an infringement occurs or if there are opportunities to obtain a license. Therefore, it is important to consider both patent agents and lawyers when looking for someone to help you protect your ideas and inventions. Patent agents specialize in patents and must have experience in important technical areas to understand a client's inventions.
A patent attorney can also provide legal advice because he has passed a state examination for law and is licensed to practice law.