What is a patent attorney? They are qualified legal advisors/representatives in the areas of intellectual property and patents. However, patent attorneys can also advise on other closely related fields a lot of the time, for instance: trade marks, copyright laws and design rights.
Patent Attorney Information
Intellectual property and patents is quite a niche area of the law, and there are only estimated to be around 1,500 patent attorneys in the UK (compared with over 120,000 solicitors). Finding a specialist in this field can consequently be more challenging – but there is an online directory available on the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) website, which serves as a professional and regulatory body for patent attorneys, as well as providing listings for patent attorneys in your local area.
What Do Patent Attorneys Advise On?
Overall, patent attorneys are basically agents offering legal advice to business owners, entrepreneurs and creators on intellectual property and patents. There are lots of reasons why somebody would seek professional help for this matter – intellectual property laws are complex and without the proper knowledge and training, can be difficult to comprehend and negotiate. Despite it being far from impossible to do on your own, patent attorneys can make the process easier and guarantee that you are doing it all correctly.
Some possible reasons that somebody would consult a patent attorney:
- Seeking advice on obtaining a patent
- Dealing with patent infringement
- Seeking legal advice on areas relating to the intellectual property laws
- The renewal of existing trade marks, patents or copyright
- The enforcement of existing trade marks, patents or copyright
- The sale and transfer of patents between owners.
What Exactly is a Patent?
A patent is a legal form of intellectual property protection for inventions – this gives the owner of the patent the right to stop anyone else from copying, using or producing their invention. Patents typically last for a certain amount of time, so only have restrictive powers for that length for time, for instance 20 years. Patents should be filed for before an invention is made public, and cannot be filed if the invention has been disclosed anywhere in the world already. Patents are published publicly once approved, which is usually 18 months from the date the application was made.
Patents are just one of the many topics regarding intellectual property legislation that patent attorneys can advise you – don’t let the job title mislead you. Copyright, trade marks and designs are just a few of the other things they can help with.
Get Patent Attorney Advice
Arranging a consultation with a chartered patent attorney is one way to get valuable advice about intellectual property. However, the CIPA also runs “IP Clinics” across the UK throughout the year, which give you the opportunity to receive free advice from a registered patent attorney if you are in the early stages of developing your idea. However, scheduling and booking a private appointment has to be the best way to get detailed and tailored legal advice on intellectual property and patent matters.
Patent attorneys are legally qualified representatives and advisors who are able to help you with matters relating to intellectual property and patents. Lots of people starting new businesses, entrepreneurs or existing business owners might wish to seek specialist advice, whether it is about patents or other intellectual property issues. Patent attorneys are also trained to advise on copyright laws, design rights and trade marks.
How to Find a Patent Attorney
There are over 120,000 solicitors in the UK, but not many patent attorneys by comparison. It can be more difficult finding a patent attorney to recruit because of this. In fact, there are only approximately 1,500 chartered patent attorneys in the country. If you don’t know where to look, it can be tough to get started.
One good place to begin would be checking the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) website. There is a list of chartered patent attorneys by location, so that you can find one that is nearby to arrange an appointment with. The CIPA is the regulatory body for patent attorneys, so by using their online directory you can have the assurance that they only register qualified, vetted and knowledgeable professionals.
All About Patents
Patent attorneys don’t just advise on patents, but they are an important part of intellectual property and it is worth knowing more about them. A patent is a means of legally protecting your invention, so that others may not steal, reproduce or use it. While a lot of inventions automatically attain some degree of intellectual property protection when you make them, having a patent is a great backup to ensure you have more power to safeguard your original work, brand or creation.
- Have a time limit, e.g. 20 years
- Be filed for before the invention is made public
- Not be filed for if the invention has already been disclosed anywhere in the world
Patents are usually published around 18 months after the application is made. But despite the job name, patent attorneys can advise on a variety of related subjects too.
What Else Do Patent Attorneys Do?
Patent attorneys are all-around intellectual property experts, and most other queries or concerns about intellectual property can be dealt with by them. Intellectual property laws are very difficult to read and comprehend if you do not have the right training or a strong legal background, and it is recommended that you consult with a professional about anything you are unsure of. Confiding in a patent attorney can help ensure that the process is as easy, stress-free and quick as possible. You can do it alone if you wish, but it is a risk that could end poorly for your brand.
So why else may you want to see a patent attorney?
- If you need advice on getting a patent
- To resolve patent infringement
- If you need legal advice concerning IP laws
- If you wish to renew or enforce existing trade marks, copyright or patents
- To sell/transfer patents
If you think a patent attorney’s input is needed, arrange for a consultation with a chartered professional.