To Interview or Not – That is the Question!October 26, 2018
When looking for a patent attorney, an inventor should approach his or her search with at least the same rigor one would exercise when seeking a life partner. While I don’t have any relationship advice or a specific list of questions the inventor should ask, I do suggest that the inventor look for an attorney with the following questions in mind:
Can the attorney speak my language?
Specifically, can the attorney translate between legalese and my comfort level? If your attorney can’t communicate with you in a way that makes you feel comfortable, this is a red flag that the attorney will also have a hard time dealing with Examiners. See my LinkedIn post
about Examiner Interviews.
Is the attorney willing to work with me to tailor the approach to fit my needs?
Your business is not the same as your neighbor’s business, so you shouldn’t be treated the same. If your attorney seems to have a one-size-fits-all approach, it was probably tailored to fit a mega-sized international client, meaning it may not be right if you are a start-up or small business.
Above all, can I trust the attorney?
Trust means many things. It means, of course, a demonstrated knowledge of the law and the technology (or the ability to quickly learn the technology). But, at a core level, trust requires that the attorney demonstrate that he or she will act with integrity. Will the attorney tell you upfront that, for example, option A will save you several thousand dollars when compared to option B, even if it means the attorney will earn less?
Has the attorney given me a good reason to entrust my hard work in his or her hands?