Three Secrets for Finding a Great Patent Lawyer
Did you know that the man who invented the plastic ketchup bottle (and the plastic valve lid that made it more efficient and less likely to waste ketchup than contemporary glass bottles) made $13 million off his invention? Now, pick your jaw off the floor and think about the guy who invented the Super Soaker, mega squirt gun. His paycheck from that simple invention came to $73 million. What we’re saying is, these gentlemen probably feel very thankful that they opted to hire a patent lawyer to trademark their brilliant ideas.
Do you have a great idea that could change the way our civilization operates? Do you have a mediocre idea that might not change much but if anyone is going to get rich off of it, you want to make sure it’s you? If you fit into either of these categories, you need to make sure your idea is properly trademarked. In order to do that, you need to make sure you have well-equipped patent lawyers on your team. If you are just dipping your toes into the world of intellectual property law, check out our list of tips for finding the best trademark attorney:
Three Secrets for Hiring a Great Trademark Attorney
- Know Where to Look
When you need any other service, it’s a good idea to ask friends and family for referrals. If you need a plumber, using your neighbor’s cousin who does plumbing work on the side might save you a few bucks. However, using anyone other than an experienced and knowledgeable patent lawyer could result in losing the rights to your own million dollar idea.
Instead, do your own research and make sure your baby is in good hands. For example, if you are in need of design patent law firms in Minneapolis, start out by Googling “design patent law firms in Minneapolis.” Once you have a list of suggestions specifically geared towards design patent law firms in Minneapolis, you can create a short list by looking at the experience and specialization. You can also research reviews of past clients who each of the design patent law firms in Minneapolis have worked with. Any legal service might have one or two negative reviews, but the firm you are considering has a common theme in the negative reviews, you know to take your precious money making idea elsewhere.
- Do a preliminary interview
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to three potential patent lawyers, meet with each of them to make sure you jive well. You should consider your patent lawyer somewhat of a business partner (although you will be walking away with the patent alone). Would you want to go into business with your lawyer?
While legal expertise is extremely important, it is also important that you trust your attorney, and mesh well with them. You’ll be working closely with your patent attorney throughout the process; finding a patent lawyers whose personality meshes well with yours matters!
While we’re on the subject… We’ll throw this in for free: Even if you like your patent lawyer as a human, if they don’t return your calls or emails in a timely fashion, we suggest you move along. Great communication skills is one of the most important qualities in a great patent lawyer.
- Consider any potential conflicts of interest.
Many of the greatest developments in our country’s history (read: the real money makers) were created by more than one person at the same time. The first person to get the patent on it got all the fame and glory (and riches) from it, and the second place party walked away with zilch. Getting your amazing idea patented before someone else does is an extremely time sensitive issue. This is why using a patent attorney who is representing a similar idea would create a substantial conflict of interest. When you conduct your patent attorney interviews that we talked about in the previous point, take care to ask if they have any other clients with similar or conflicting ideas. No, you probably won’t get a rundown of the details, but a scrupulous patent attorney will tell you if they morally cannot accept your work.
Do you have other suggestions for finding a great patent attorney? Please share your wisdom in the comments!
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