Will I need a patent attorney or agent for the application process?

● While you can file and draft your applications, patent agents and attorneys are more skilled and can assist you in drafting the application professionally.
● Professional help is required to respond to the Patent Office review communications.

An inventor can prepare and file a patent application on their own without the assistance of a lawyer. However, the prosecution process is complicated and requires extensive research. Therefore, the patent application must be in a clear format.

For guidance and assistance with the patent application process, it is advisable to contact a registered agent or attorney for patent law. Only USPTO agents and registered attorneys can help others obtain patents. The USPTO website contains a list of registered patent attorneys and agents authorized to practice before it. All agents and attorneys who practice before the USPTO in trademark and patent matters are subject to the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct and disciplinary jurisdiction.

Table of Contents

1.1 What is the difference between an agent and a patent attorney?

1.2 How do you become a USPTO-registered patent attorney or agent?

1.3 What paperwork might an attorney ask me to sign in order for them to provide their services?

1.1 What’s the difference between a patent attorney and an agent?

● Both have passed the PTO exam for registration.
● Both must have some technical education in engineering or science.
● Only a patent lawyer is qualified to provide legal advice on matters such as patent licensing and patent infringement in court.
● The formula for Power of Attorney.

They share many similarities. Both have passed the PTO exam for registration. Both are required to have some technical training in engineering or science. Both are competent in the requirements for filing, prosecuting, and preparing patent applications with USPTO.

Patent agents and patent attorneys differ in their ability to practice law. A patent attorney is a licensed lawyer who has completed law school and taken the examination to become a registered lawyer in their state. A patent agent cannot give legal advice and is not licensed to practice law. Only lawyers can represent you in any legal proceeding involving federal or state court.

A patent agent can often be less expensive than a patent lawyer due to differences in legal education. You should, however, check the billing rate and talk to them about your concerns. While both can prepare patent applications and prosecute the USPTO, only attorneys can practice law. An attorney, for example, can represent patent litigation before the courts.

1.2 What is the process to become a USPTO registered patent attorney or patent agent?

The applicant must comply with USPTO rules before being admitted to the registry. This includes good moral character and having particular legal, scientific, and technical qualifications, such as a college degree in engineering or the physical sciences. In addition, to ensure that the applicant is well-versed in USPTO procedures and practices, they must pass a rigorous exam.

1.3 Is there paperwork that an attorney may ask me to sign for his/her services?

A Power of Attorney document shows you have authorized the attorney to represent you in the patent application process. You grant the power to represent you or handle your patent application. A power of attorney gives the person the power to communicate with USPTO. This does not grant the person any ownership rights to the invention. You can terminate this relationship at any time by granting power of attorney to another person.

The PTO cannot answer questions from you or your agent if you are represented only by a patent attorney.