Choosing an attorney in general can turn into a seemingly unnecessarily difficult process and a patent attorney is no different. However, there are ways to simplify the process and save some money doing it. First, a few factors to keep an eye on when trying to pick a patent attorney.
Experience — You will want an attorney that has worked through the patent process before. Ideally, you will want an attorney who has not only worked on the patent process but has worked on patents that are similar to the one that you are seeking. For example, if you are trying to get a patent on a new type of software, then you will want to find an attorney who has worked specifically on software patents. For example, at LawTrades, we connect software clients to our patent attorneys who have worked with Google & Yahoo in the past.
Availability — Your attorney should be reasonably available to you and open to working with you to accomplish the task. The patent application will be filed on your behalf, so your input will be valuable. Therefore, you should be involved in the process or at least kept informed. An attorney that is not reasonably available for communication with the client can make the process more stressful for the client.
Specialization — As I mentioned earlier, you want your attorney to be specialized in the specific area in which you seek a patent. This is because before a patent is granted, the “prior art” needs to be examined in order to determine if the patent is new and original. The prior art inquiry looks at the current state of the technology and how it got to that point so it requires knowledge of the industry and an attorney who has worked in the industry will be a good starting point.
Now, those factors should be kept in mind as general rules, but to answer your more specific question about research tools, I encourage you to check out. At LawTrades, we will match you with an experienced, specialized patent attorney who can work with you through your patent application process. We offer a free 20 minute consultation to get you started. If you have any questions, you can stop by for a free consultation. Good luck!