Monday, August 1, 2011
Things Entrepreneurs Should Look For in a Patent Attorney
Shopping for a patent attorney may seem pretty simple. You simply find one with expertise in your technical area. Right? However, focusing on the technical qualifications of a candidate alone might not be adequate.
Sure. Your patent attorney needs to know your technology. But regardless of who you select, you will still likely be the technical expert for your application. No one will know your concept better than you.
Therefore consider some other factors. Does the candidate you are considering understand your business model? Does the candidate have a feel for how you will be using your intellectual property; where it fits into your business activities; and the alternatives (including the current state of the art) to your idea? Moreover, does the candidate understand who your competitors are; who they might be in the future; and how your idea might give you an advantage over them? Similar questions can be asked about the candidate’s knowledge of your customer base.
Also, has the candidate worked with clients of your size? Understanding the needs of Fortune 100 companies is one thing. However, using a patent attorney who grinds out one patent application after another –the model followed by most Fortune 100-based patent attorneys -- might result in a cookie-cutter application that shirks interesting aspects of your idea. Instead, entrepreneurs might be well advised to look for a patent attorney who regularly deals with other entrepreneurs and understands that your patent application might be your crown IP jewel and deserving of individualized treatment.
Having satisfied these concerns, entrepreneurs can then move on to the more mundane considerations. How many years of patent related experience does the candidate have? What sorts of recommendations does the candidate have? Can the candidate communicate? Does a match exist between your personality and the candidate’s personality?
We at the Villhard Patent Group would like to have the opportunity to discuss your intellectual property prospects with you. Please contact us at (512) 897-0399 or visit www.villhardpatents.com for more information about us.