People need intellectual property lawyers for different reasons. Whether patenting an invention, trademarking your business, protecting your copyright, or more. Working with an intellectual property lawyer while developing your idea will reduce the risk of intellectual property (IP) theft.
Whether you are in the idea development stage or need to stop someone from using your intellectual property, you need the right lawyer. With so many intellectual property lawyers, choosing the right attorney is crucial.
This article will guide you in making your list of top patent lawyers and intellectual property attorneys to work with.
Tips for choosing the right intellectual property lawyer
While you can go ahead and hire the first intellectual property lawyer you find, choosing the right one takes more than that. There are a few factors to consider so you don’t make any mistakes.
Here are some tips to guide you:
Identify your specific need
Before you do anything else, determine your intellectual property legal needs. Are they related to a trademark, registering a trademark or patent, intellectual property theft, negotiating a licensing agreement, or suing someone over an intellectual property dispute?
Identifying why you need an intellectual property lawyer will help you focus your search on attorneys who offer such services instead of legal all-rounders. Then, you can create a list of intellectual property lawyers.
When choosing an intellectual property lawyer, research is important, especially if you don’t know any. You can research in different ways. Many options can pop up if you research online. You might be drawn to a few but continue the research process.
Check their websites to examine them, and read their reviews, especially the explanatory ones. You can shortlist some choices this way. Another way to do that is to speak to your lawyer if you already have one for another purpose. They can recommend a reliable IP lawyer from their community who can help you.
Furthermore, you can ask fellow business owners about their intellectual property legal representation and consider the lawyers they recommend. You can also ask friends, people in your circle, and family for recommendations.
While you gather recommendations from different sources, consider doing more research. Find their reviews, ratings, and success rates online or offline to help you make an informed decision.
In most instances, people often hire those with more work experience. You have a higher shot at success when you work with an experienced intellectual property lawyer. Of course, their field of experience matters as well.
Working with someone with specific experience in your area of need will yield more fruitful results. While working with a patent attorney for trademark needs may not be a disaster, you might want to consider an intellectual property lawyer who specializes in trademark law.
In addition, check how long the lawyer has worked in that field, and though it may cost you more, hiring someone with the most experience is a better choice.
Confirm the lawyer’s reputation
While expertise and experience matter, reputation is also key. Keep the attorney’s reputation in mind. How often do they win cases? How do they relate with their clients? Are they credible, and do they do their best to help their clients?
Be sure that you choose an intellectual property lawyer that will go the extra mile to handle your concerns, prepare everything, and help you succeed.
One way to determine this is to check online reviews about their work rate and speak to some of their past clients about their experiences. Ultimately, the best IP lawyer should get things done, protect your best interest, and win your case.
Look for a lawyer who handles litigation
When checking for the right intellectual property lawyer, look for one who also handles litigation. Some lawyers offer only consultations, patent, or trademark registration and end it there. Instead of choosing lawyers who do that, choose someone who does litigation as well.
Hiring a separate lawyer to handle litigations can be a hassle or even cost more. Ensure you choose an attorney familiar with your intellectual property field and who has handled litigation cases in that area.
Consider the billing arrangement
Before choosing an intellectual property lawyer, you should consider the fees. Hiring an IP attorney doesn’t have to be costly. Never start working with an attorney without a clear idea of the cost. Experienced IP lawyers can provide ranges of anticipated costs or a fixed fee that will cover your legal needs.
Often, working with an attorney who provides you with a fixed rate is a more reliable choice and will give you peace of mind that you know how much the service costs and incur extra fees along the way.
List your primary choices
After researching and consulting with different lawyers, list down a few choices. Don’t settle with online ads or a single choice. It’s good to keep your options open before deciding who to work with. Choose the right lawyer based on your specific needs and future requirements. You can also keep the list for future needs.
Request an in-person meeting
Reading online reviews may not be enough to decide the right intellectual property lawyer to work with. Hence, you should consider requesting face-to-face meetings. While that can be time-consuming, it’ll be worth your time in the long run.
This will help you ask questions and be clear on some things. Ensure you prepare questions about their expertise in the intellectual property field and familiarize yourself with IP law before the meeting.
Take note of how they answer the questions and interact with you. Then, you can choose a competent attorney you feel comfortable working together with.
Your intellectual property expands beyond your locality. Therefore, you should be open to attorneys that can handle foreign filing, especially if you plan to expand your business overseas. Check how many international patents they file annually.
Furthermore, confirm whether they have relationships with other firms within the jurisdiction you’re interested in. Check if they’re familiar with patent requirements in that jurisdiction. Lastly, confirm the costs for foreign filing. Consider all these, and determine which lawyer fits more with your goals.
Choosing the right intellectual property lawyer will be easier if you utilize these tips. After deciding who to contact, prepare the information the potential legal representation will need to help you.
Also, try to familiarize yourself with common areas of intellectual property, so your meetings will be more fruitful. Finally, work with an experienced lawyer who you’re comfortable with. You will probably be spending a lot of time with them, so your comfort level is crucial.