Patent lawyers are qualified attorney-at-law and are technically trained, usually having a degree in engineering or in one or more of the sciences. Patent lawyers provide clients with highly specialized support in all areas of patent law, including the application work and preparation for patents, patent licensing and patent infringement litigation (at both the trial court and appellate levels). Patent lawyers are skilled and experienced in the procedures of the U.S. Patent. Patent lawyers devote a majority of their practice to patent law. Practicing lawyers are skilled and experienced in the areas of patent application work, litigation, and counseling services. Patent lawyers promote the advantages realized by clients for patent application work, litigation, and counseling services.
Patent lawyers procurement of patent begins with inventor describing his invention. Patent lawyers evaluate the utility, novelty and obviousness of the invention, and based on that evaluation, advises the client as to whether a patent application should be filed on the invention. If patent lawyers decide to apply for a patent, the patent lawyers draft a patent application for filing in the USPTO. After the application has been filed in the USPTO, it is assigned to a patent examiner, and the issues surrounding patentability are defined. The patent lawyers seek to obtain favorable final action for the applicant. If the patent lawyers succeed, a patent is issued on the application. If the examiner decides that the invention is not patentable, the applicant, with the lawyer's assistance, may appeal the decision to the USPTO's Board of Appeals. If the Board's decision is unfavorable, a further appeal may be taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Patent lawyers are particularly valuable in court because throughout the trial and discovery phases, knowledge of technology and of the patent law is obviously important. Only someone who understands the technology should be entrusted with evaluating technical documents and interrogating technically trained witnesses. Moreover, unless the attorney understands the subtleties of patent law, he or she may not grasp the significance of the documents and testimony being obtained. At trial, the patent lawyer training can become critical. In the eyes of the jury, the decisive event in the trial of a patent case is often the cross examination of the inventor or expert witness.
Most patent lawyers have relationships with foreign patent lawyers throughout the world. These foreign associates assist in the international filings of patent applications on behalf of their clients including national stages for applications filed under the Patent Cooperative Treaty, as well as direct filings.