Filing a patent is a challenging and costly endeavor. As such, many people elect to hire a professional, such as a registered patent agent or a patent attorney, to help them with the filing. If you are looking to hire a professional to assist you, there are many factors to consider as you go about selecting someone. Here are a few of the key factors that you should pay close attention to as you seek out a professional to assist you with filing a patent.
If They Are Licensed With the USPTO
The USPTO, or U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, licenses both registered patent agents and lawyers who have the requirements needed to work in this field and have taken and passed a test to show that they know what they are doing. Legally, only those who are licensed with the USPTO can charge individuals to file patents on their behalf. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who charge others to file patents without being licensed. As such, you want to verify with the USPTO that the professional you are considering using is licensed by them to file patents.
How They Charge You
Another important factor to consider as you look to hire a professional to assist you with filing a patent is how you are charged. Some patent professionals will charge you a flat fee to do all of the research, fill out the forms an file your patent application. Other professionals will charge you an hourly rate. There are pros and cons to both options. Some people want to pay for the work that is done, while others want to know exactly what it will cost upfront. Always ask a professional how they charge you and then find a professional who bills in the manner that you prefer.
What Their Success Rate Is
The last factor to consider as you seek out a professional to assist you with a patent filing is what their success rate is. No one is going to have a 100 percent success rate or get every patent they file approved. But a registered patent agent or patent attorney should have more approvals than failures. Always ask what their success rate is and why they feel some of their patents were denied.
Filing a patent on your own can be tough. The paperwork is complex, the wait times are long, and the fees are high. Hiring a professional to help you helps to ensure that it is done right on the first try. Paying attention to all of these factors will help guide you to the professional who is best suited to help you with your patent needs.