New inventors need to patent their inventions so they can protect them, and this is a process you’ll want to go through with the help of a patent attorney. As an inventor in Orlando, it’s never too soon or too late to call a patent attorney. You don’t have to wait till your invention is fully developed.
While you might be excited about patenting your invention and speaking with an attorney, you shouldn’t go to the meeting without having an idea about what to do or discuss. It’s important to research and read more about Orlando patent attorneys before meeting up with them.
But what do you do when meeting up and prior? You might find the advice in this article helpful.
8 advice for inventors meeting with a patent attorney
This advice is intended to help you choose the best patent attorney you can trust to make the patenting process easier for you. You’ll need an attorney by your side if you want your patent application to have a higher chance of success. Here are 8 tidbits of advice you might find useful.
1. Research your invention
Before you go into any meeting, you’ll need to prepare and do your homework. You don’t want to come off as ignorant or as someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Your meeting will go much smoother if you can properly express your needs.
Research and ensure that your invention is novel and patentable. Check the patent office or the USPTO database to investigate and ensure no one has patented similar inventions, as well as what category yours falls in. You’ll be investing time and money in meeting up with an attorney, so it’s best to make it worthwhile.
2. Document your invention’s history
Ensure you document your invention’s history. You should get down all details about the product, including processes, dates, names, and contact information. Furthermore, you can get a few trusted people to sign on to verify the dates written on it.
You should also organize your invention files separately for different document categories. Your attorney will likely need to know your invention’s history, so don’t withhold any information, whether it’s who else worked with you, if you had a job during development, if you used another company’s resources, and so on.
It’s best to lay all your cards on the table and be transparent so your lawyer knows how to help you.
3. Prepare for the meeting
Before meeting with the patent attorney, you should send them a copy of your invention’s description, business plan, goals, timeline, ownership questions, history, and patent search. This is so you can maximize your meeting time with them and give them ample time to review the document before your meeting.
Ensure you take your notebook or prototypes to your meeting.
4. Understand confidentiality and sign an agreement
Intellectual property theft is a very real thing with new inventions and ideas, and you’ll likely want to protect what’s yours. Therefore, you’ll need to know and understand confidentiality laws.
Don’t disclose your ideas to people unless they’re your witnesses. You should also insist that people you share your invention with sign a confidentiality agreement, including the patent attorney.
While patent attorneys know federal regulations regarding client confidentiality, you should insist. You should ask whether the initial meeting will be non-confidential since they’re probably representing other inventors, and you’ll want to avoid a conflict of interest.
5. Meet with more than one attorney
There’s no harm in meeting with more than one patent attorney if you’re concerned about choosing a competent and experienced one. However, ensure you speak with patent attorneys, not patent agents, since they can’t give legal advice.
Furthermore, you should research and read more about potential patent attorneys to know more about their scope, technical backgrounds, past clients, or publications.
6. Prepare to pay for the services
You’ll be meeting the attorney for professional assistance, so you should prepare to pay for their services. You shouldn’t rely on paying based on contingency or offer partnerships, because this may discourage the attorney from helping you.
Before patent attorneys agree to that, they will have researched and gotten a level of assurance that your invention will make money. Therefore, get ready to pay for the service you’ll get.
7. Stay informed and be realistic
You may think that you don’t need to do anything on your side since the patent attorney will shoulder most of the application responsibility. However, you need to stay informed on your end. Read and understand the patent law and process so you can participate in important decisions and understand the information required from your end.
Furthermore, you should be realistic with your goals and expectations. Having unrealistic expectations shows that you may be difficult to work with, and that’s the last thing a patent attorney wants to deal with.
8. Be fully present in the meeting
You should be fully present in your meeting with the attorney, whether in person or on the phone. This is so that you can get the most from the meeting and make some deductions about your relationships moving forward.
Do not multitask or distract yourself with other things. You may even want to record the conversation. Whether you know it or not, the patent attorney also interviews you during the meeting to determine whether you’re someone they’d like to work with.
Meeting with a patent attorney shouldn’t be complicated, and preparation and knowing what to do will make it easier. The most important thing to do before a meeting is to prepare by researching your invention, understanding patent laws and application, researching the attorney, and arranging your invention’s documentation.
Furthermore, ensure you scrutinize the attorney during the meeting so you can be sure you’re making the right decision. You’ll have a much more productive meeting if you come in prepared.