Inventors looking to obtain protection for their innovations employ patent practitioners, otherwise known as patent agents, for assistance with the patent application process. Certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), patent agents help prospective inventors navigate the complex requirements of patent application.
Patent agents help prospective inventors with every step of the application process, which typically starts with the agents researching the invention or process that has been invented; after this, a search for similar applications is conducted. If the innovation is found to be unique, patent agents help the inventor refine the application and guide them through the process of federal patent review questions and possible objections. Many times, patent agents act on behalf of the inventor as an intermediary authorized to interact with the USPTO on any issues related to a patent application or questions from federal patent reviewers. Patent agents may work for a variety of employers, including universities, law firms, corporations such as pharmaceutical and engineering firms, and private individuals.
Orospective patent agents must hold at least a bachelor's degree in the physical sciences or in an engineering field. After successful application and testing by the UPSTO, patent agents are then registered and certified as patent practitioners.
Patent Agent Tasks
Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
Advise clients in business transactions, claim liablility, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits or legal rights and obligations.
Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses.
Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.