Need a Patent Attorney

  1. I know that the guy that used this user name not so long ago wrote some crazy stuff about invention process. I live in his house.

    Well. I am an aeronautical engineer and I was turned into a repairman because of the crisis. I am still considered an engineer but I fix things around the half-empty company building with a former chemistry professor. So I came up with a gadget that I want to patent really cool new device. It may be a series of patents as I read in the books that I would have to file. A lot more than just a single provisional patent.

    I also go to college in the evenings so i am a really busy man. I only have Saturdays off. I also don't have much money, since I am a repairman and I take expensive classes (loans, family, etc)
    No initial capital whatsoever.

    I am looking for a patent attorney that would be agree to help me file those series of patents and charge me a portion of my profits instead of demanding a fee from the beginning. Hopefully, near of Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD.

    I heard that attorneys like that exist but I am in a doubt.

    Also I don't want to deal with those small on-line law firms that promise to turn your invention into a product by midnight, since my BOSS HAD AN UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE with such company a year ago and he lost the case.

    My invention is not some perpetual motion machine or a flying saucer. It has a hell of a marketing potential.

    Thanks for help.
  2. jcsd
  3. EnumaElish

    EnumaElish 2,332
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    One of your options is to find an unemployed/underemployed lawyer (law student / recent graduate, someone yet to become a lawyer), and talk them into your business model over breakfast/lunch/dinner.

    I'm coming from this guy's experience:
  4. A lawyer like that is not as concerned with his reputation of a honest lawyer so it does not look so safe.
    But I'll still look.


    I am sorry, I don't understand about the guy you are talking about.
    I read the article.
    I am not willing to spend the rest of my life going to courts like Professor Anspach.
  5. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    You may want to consider a patent agent instead. They cost a lot less than an attorney. Also, they know the legal process, and not necessarily the technical aspects of an invention.

    Once can do a lot of research oneself, i.e., review of the state of the art to find out if any previous patent has a claim similar or the same as one's invention.

    One's invention has to be 'new, useful and non-obvious'.
  6. I did research and I am doing research on this subject.
    One big thing I had missed is the difference between patent agent and patent attorney.
    Thanks for pointing that out.
  7. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    My boyfriend is a patent attorney (you don't want him...based on what you've posted here, you can't afford him). If such an attorney as you do want exists, they are probably a hack. Attorneys are not in the business of marketing, just getting you a patent that you can defend, so would not take a case based on promise of profits (even a good product can be marketed badly). The patentability and marketability of an invention are two completely different things. Litigations might be taken on a contingency basis (i.e., if you have a patent and are suing someone for infringement and a firm thinks there is a good chance of a big payout on the lawsuit), but prosecutions generally are not.
  8. The first thing you need to do is prepare all of your drawings and descriptions. The process will help you make the determinations you've specified.

    It will save you a lot of money in the long term. Don't involve an attorney until you're ready.
  9. I agree.
    I got some information by bugging friends and coworkers at this point.
    Maybe what one of my coworkers had offered me will work. I will ask him.

    Thanks for help.
  10. One other thing. Other than for marketing purposes, having a patent is essentially useless for a small company outside of biotechnology. The problem is that patents are useless unless you have the resources to defend them, and for any non-trivial product, what you'll probably find if you get into a patent fight is that for every patent you accuse "big evil corporation" of infringing, you've probably infringed on a dozen. If you are company and your business model depends crucially on a patent, you will need vast amounts of capital to afford the lawyers to defend it.
  11. I am planning to sell my patent to a big corporation like that.
    Make them pay me a something small from every 'MY' product sold.

    Is this a good idea?
  12. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It's very unlikely. If they find a need for your patent, the deal will most likely be for you to sell it for a fixed sum.

    In order for you to patent something, it has to be significantly different from previous patents. Many patent lawsuits have been won where it was proven that the current technogically was somehow extremely remotely related to some idea that could be shown to be vaguely gleened from an earlier patent, even if your product is significantly improved or different.
  13. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,497
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    I agree with your first point.

    On your second, though, I'm accustomed to seeing the exact opposite: patents are granted and 'defended' (sufficiently defensible that the parties settle out of court) even when the invention fails the non-obviousness test in light of previous technology.
  14. lisab

    lisab 3,188
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    cavemen, this is not an area that I know much about...but do you have a prototype of this product? Just curious.
  15. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's what people need patent attorneys for, to find the prior art they would miss and not even think about. But, that's also the patent examiner's job to ensure the patent doesn't infringe on anyone else's.

    You either sell all the patent rights for a lump sum, or you sell a license to use the product and retain the patent. And, if you can't afford a good patent attorney to get a rock solid patent, there's no point...if there's really money to be made on the product, the big corporation WILL hire their own attorneys to find every flaw in your patent and produce almost the same thing but just enough different to not infringe so you'll never see a dime.
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    A recent huge case was the one Blackberry phones lost because someone that patented some small thing that RIM expanded on won in court and almost put Blackberry out of business.
  17. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,497
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    Homework Helper

    Yes, that seems to support my position above.
  18. Lawyers cost money. I am pretty sure that the big corporation will not hire lawyers if that demands more money than just buying my patent from me.

    Patent Office itself looks for the prior art.
  19. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Big corporations already have lawyers on staff, they won't need to hire anyone.
  20. As Lisa inquired, do you have a prototype?
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