Need a Patent Attorney

  • Thread starter cavemen
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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.
 

EnumaElish

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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: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125599860004295449.html
 
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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.

Thanks.

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.
 

Astronuc

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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'.
 
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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.
 

Moonbear

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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.
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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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?
 

Evo

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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?
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.
 

CRGreathouse

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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.
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.
 

lisab

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

Moonbear

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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.
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.

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?
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.
 

Evo

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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.
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.
 

CRGreathouse

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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.
Yes, that seems to support my position above.
 
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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.
 

Evo

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

Jasongreat

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.

QUOTE]

Check out the history of the birth of electronic TV, especially the fight between RCA and Philo T. Farnsworth. The book "The Last Lone inventor" is all about the battle and I think its a good quick read. Like Evo said, corporations already have a legal team in place and imo they are already on the payroll so the corporations are itching for a reason to make them earn their paychecks.
 

Moonbear

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Big corporations already have lawyers on staff, they won't need to hire anyone.
Exactly! The big corporations have in-house attorneys. And, if they think they'll make enough of a profit off the product, they'll have no qualms about even paying an outside attorney a little extra to ensure they get your invention in their terms, not yours, if you can't afford an attorney to represent you in negotiations.
 

Moonbear

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Patent Office itself looks for the prior art.
There is an expectation of "due diligence" on the part of the inventor too. That is usually what they pay lawyers to handle, because if they have a lawyer representing them and the lawyer misses some important prior art, it is the law firm on the hook. If the inventor doesn't have a lawyer, and misses it, they are the one on the hook. The patent office may catch some very obvious claims, but they miss a lot too; it's not their job to do the search for you. That is the entire basis of patent litigation, when someone claims a patent infringes on prior art. It's NOT a situation you want to be in.
 
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I am not arguing that i don't need a lawyer.
I am getting one.
The way it works is: provisional patenting ->marketing ->hiring a lawyer and getting a full patent.

Requirements for provisional patents are pretty low compared to full patents.

Prior art is essential for filing a full patent.
 
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Thanks.
Not the prototype. I have a model made out of available material.
I will have more questions in the future.
 
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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.
It's not "someone." There are companies out there which are patent holding companies that consist of patents and some lawyers and they go an basically try to shakedown big companies for money. You aren't going to be able to do this unless you have several dozen patents and a team of lawyers.
 

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