How to choose a patent agent or a patent attorney

The generally long pendency periods of patent applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office should raise a cautious flag when choosing a patent agent or a patent attorney.  After all, inventors must deal with their patent agent or patent attorney for the entire pendency period of a typical patent application.

When choosing a patent agent or a patent attorney, make sure to talk directly with the individual patent agent or patent attorney who will actually handle your case throughout the entire course of the pendency period.  Most law firms are named after that attorney or partners that started the firm, but junior or inexperienced associates may prepare your actual patent application.

Do not be shy to ask them questions, such as if they are familiar with your innovative technology, how long they have been in patent law practice, what are their fees, and so on.

After your initial conversation, you should always do a patent search using the name of the patent agent or patent attorney with whom you spoke.  For example, Patent Law Agency, LLC is managed by an experience patent agent Peter Ganjian (a former U.S. Patent Examiner).  Go to www.google.com/patents and enter “Ganjian,” you will see a list of patents worked on by Peter Ganjian both as a Patent Agent and a former U.S. Patent Examiner.  You should do the same for every patent agent or patent attorney who will handle your patent application.

By Peter Ganjian, BSEE

(Former United States Patent Examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office)

A Southern California Registered Patent Agent with Patent Law Agency, LLC Serving the communities of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, and Arcadia.  Patent Law Agency, LLC also serves Brazil, Colombia, Japan, China, Europe and the European Patent Office, and Canada.

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