What Is a Patent and Do I Need a Patent Attorney?
As a business lawyer specializing in trademark, patent and trademark litigation, I am often asked “What is a patent, and do I need a patent attorney in order to obtain a patent?”
Patents are a particular exclusive right that applies to one who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
A patent is issued by the Patent and Trademark Office for a term of 20 years from the date the patent application was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. US patent grants are effective only within the US, US territories, and US possessions.
In the language of the statute governing the right conferred by the issuance of a patent, a patent gives the inventor (or owner) “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States.
Many people mistakenly believe that what is granted by a patent is the right to make, use, offer for sale the invention. This is not what the patent grants. It grants the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.
Do you need an attorney who specializes in patents to handle the prosecution (filing) of your patent or litigation of your patent lawsuit?
In almost every instance, the answer is yes. Only a registered patent attorney may file a patent application, and — given the complexity of patent litigation — only an seasoned intellectual property attorney with on-the-ground experience handling patent disputes should be selected to handle such claims.
Finally, when choosing a patent attorney, it is important to select someone who has all the resources needed to help you achieve your goals. This means an attorney with a team of colleagues who are skilled at handling the particular type of patent at issue in your matter. This means having a team that includes a cadre of attorneys with a broad spectrum of engineering degrees in order to match the patent attorney with the particular invention involved in the patent application or the patent litigation.
This is precisely what I offer at my firm. We are a large, international firm, with nearly two dozen patent attorneys and patent litigators who between them can handle a wide range of patent disputes. In every piece of patent litigation that I handle, I assign the right patent attorney to assist. I select that person based on their expertise with the technology involved in the patent-in-suit because patent litigation requires both a skilled litigator and a skilled patent attorney. They are a team.
The same is true with every client who comes to me with a new idea for which they would like to seek patent protection. I select the patent attorney to work on that invention based on the patent attorney’s individual expertise and prior experience. The goal is always to use our resources to best serve you!
Jonathan Pink is a business lawyer with a specialty in copyright, patent and trademark litigation. His clients include many of the biggest names in the automotive and motorcycle aftermarket parts industries, and one of world’s largest media companies. He has extensive experience in a wide range of intellectual property and commercial disputes including breach of contract, fraud, and the misappropriation of trade secrets. He can be reached at 949.223.7173, or at email@example.com, and his full profile can be viewed at www.bryancave.com.
This blog/web site is made available by Jonathan Pink for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog/site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. This blog/web site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.