What is a Patent Attorney? – What is a Patent Lawyer?
In the United States (U.S.) a Patent Attorney (patent lawyer, patent law attorney) is a person who who is licensed and registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and at the same time licensed to practice law in at least one state. Only persons licensed and registered by the USPTO are able to represent others before the USPTO and prosecute patent applications – this includes patent agents. Unlike a patent agent, a patent attorney also has a license to practice law under a state law bar. Our patent attorney is Gregory D Carson, he is licensed in California.
How Much Does a Patent Attorney Cost?
How much it costs to hire a patent lawyer varies by the service needed as well as the complexity and type of the invention. Hourly fees range $200 – $1000. Luckily, like Carson Patents, most offer fixed cost patent services for the major steps or events in the life of an invention. These fixed cost patent services include prior art searching, writing and filing patent applications, and prosecuting pending patents (working with the patent office to get the application allowed).
Costs of Determining Patentability
The first patent service most inventors need is a prior art search and patentability study to find out of the invention can be patented. Hiring a patent attorney for a patent search and patentability opinion will cost $1000 – $3000 depending on the complexity of the invention. At Carson Patents most searches are $1200 including the patentability study and opinion.
Costs of Writing and Filing Patent Applications
The second patent service an invention needs is writing and filing the patent application. (The invention must be found patentable before writing and filing a patent application.) For most inventions you should expect to pay between $3000 – $5000 plus the government filing fees for a licensed patent attorney to write and file a patent application for your invention. At Carson Patents the cost of patent drawings, figures, and flowcharts is included.
Costs of Patent Prosecution
The third patent service an invention needs if for when the invention is patent pending, it is patent prosecution. There are costs associated with preparing and writing responses to office actions as well as for making amendments to the abstract, claims, or specification. You should expect to pay $1000 – $2000 for compete and proper response to a typical office action. At Carson Patents most patent applications have two or fewer office actions that require the preparation and filing of a response prior to allowance or final rejection.
Note that final rejection does not have to be the end of the patent application, and is less final than the phrase suggests. At any point when a patent application is pending, there are continuation, continuation-in-part, and divisional patent applications that can be used to continue to seek patent protection after final rejection. Additionally, there is the request for continued examination (RCE) that can be used to continue prosecution in the same application. New applications and RCE’s have costs associated with writing and filing the application as mentioned in the previous section above.
Finally, if the USPTO allows the claims, there is also the cost of paying the issue fee. You should expect to pay between $500 – $1500 to process paying the issue fee.
The above dollar amounts are only estimates based Carson Patents average fees for the respective patent services. The cost to patent each invention is obviously individual to that invention because all inventions are unique. Read more about patent costs.
What is the Difference Between a Patent Attorney and a Patent Agent?
The difference between a patent agent and attorney is a license to practice law. Both a patent agent and attorney are patent practitioners and licensed to practice before the USTPO to represent inventions and prosecute patent applications. A licensed patent attorney can also practice law in at least one state. The license to practice law is not part of representing inventions before the USPTO and prosecuting patent applications. In other words, being a lawyer does not count when is comes to seeking patent protection for an invention.
Patent licenses are derived mostly from engineering degrees or graduate degrees in specific subjects, and not from law degrees. Moreover, to become licensed to practice patenting, there is a separate exam. In the same way that an attorney must pass a bar exam to practice law, there is a separate registration exam to become licensed to practice in patents before the USPTO. It is referred to as the Patent Bar. Generally, the way to qualify to sit (take) the Patent Bar is to have a degree in engineering or have about 40 semester hours in a subject.
USPTO Registered Patent Attorney – Licensed to Patent
Here at Carson Patents we are able to offer the complete range of intellectual property transactions online. We work with patents, trademarks, and copyrights. While admittedly our leadership team stays in the patenting lane, our affiliates are able to provide intellectual property services all across the globe. When it comes to inventions we are able to offer patent application processing for your inventions with the USPTO, and the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) all online remotely.
Our patent licensed attorney can search for prior art, write, file, and prosecute your patent application all online. Documents are transferred by email. The entire patenting process can happen from the comforts of your workshop or home. We are also available to help with reduction to practice engineering assistance for our inventors. Reduction to practice is making the invention either actually or constructively with words and drawings as in a patent application. You can read more about reduction to practice in our article “What is Reduction to Practice?” We work with US and International patent applications. Best of all, we offer a free 30 minute consultation to discuss patenting your invention.