Patent and Trademark Attorney: What They Do and Why You Need One
By Joseph Savard
You know that feeling when lightning strikes? Not literally, of course, but that instant of Eureka! An idea so brilliant that you just know this is your one way ticket to easy street. Now, all you have to do is produce and sell your idea. Should be just a hop, skip and a jump to the good life, right?
Unfortunately, it is not that easy, in fact, it can be down right complex. It is a very risky thing to turn your idea into reality. With competitors lurking around every corner, you have to take care to protect your budding idea.
What you really want to do is make sure you do not have competitors at all. You know how when you go to the store and see a product from company A under the name "Great Idea" and then Company B has a similar product under the name "Wonderful Idea" ...that is what you want to avoid. You have to try to make sure there is not a Company B.
Trademarking your product is also very important for an entrepreneur. This symbol next to your company name or logo tells the world that this is your idea and company. You will need to register your trademark to protect your company from others illegally using yours. Think of it as your companies identity. If you don't protect it, it is out there for the world to use.
So, now that you know you have to protect your idea and company from being copied, the next question is how. Here is where the lawyers get their cut. You will be able to find lawyers who specialize in patents and copyright law.
By patenting your products, getting the copyright on the necessary documents and registering your trademark, you will make it illegal for any other company to sell your product or use the trademark without asking your permission to do so first.
The process of obtaining a patent and registering your trademark can be very expensive, and then add to that the attorney fees and filing fees and possible time off work and the bottom line gets bigger and bigger. That is why you need to do your market research to be sure that the idea you have is worth all the expense.
You have to give due diligence to analyzing your idea to make sure there is a spot for it in the market place. After all, you could pay thousands only to find out later that not everybody thinks the idea was as wonderful as you did.
After you have made the decision to go ahead and spend your time and money on the next big thing, it is time to find yourself a good attorney. You may have to talk to several lawyers before you find one you like and feel you can trust. But do not forget to make sure they know what they are doing as well. After all, a guy can be nice and incompetent at the same time.
You may be tempted to not hire an attorney and just file the paperwork yourself. It can’t be that difficult, right?
An attorney will be able to navigate the maze of the US Patent Office. Not only will they take care of all the paperwork necessary, but it will be filled out correctly and to the correct office. How much will you be wishing you had hired an attorney if the paperwork missed a very important deadline and your idea got pulled out from under you and the fortune that was suppose to be yours goes to the guy that didn’t decide to save the money?
There are requirements that the patent lawyer will know about. They have the experience to help you through the process. They have done this several times before and chances are, this will be your first time. So, do not skip this step.
These are just a couple of the items to keep in mind after your 'light bulb' moment when making the decision whether or not to patent your idea. By knowing what you need to do to make your idea takes off, you can make a better and more informed decision before you spend even one penny. Think of it as dipping your toe in a pool before you jump in with both feet.
Joseph Savard has been in the business of trademarking for 15 years now and is the best selling author of the ebook "The Trademarking Handbook". To Earn 70% Commissions By Simply Referring Others To His Website visit www.trademarkinghandbook.com/affiliates.