What is the job of a patent attorney?
As the name implies, a patent attorney deals with issues of intellectual property (IP) rights.
Its scope is limited by three factors – time, territory, and patent claims. And it is the patent attorney’s task to ensure that the protection of a given invention (protected by a patent or utility model), design (protected by an industrial design) or sign (protected by a trademark) is as effective as possible within these limitations.
In terms of patent claims, patent attorneys address the proper definition of the claims that determine what aspect of the invention will be protected.
In territorial scope, on the other hand, it is their job to secure the necessary documents and requisites, which may vary from state to state. They should also provide their insight and advise what territories should be included in your IP protection strategy.
The time limitation is probably the least risky part. Patent can be valid up to 20 years, or 25 years in the case of pharmaceuticals. In this context, patent attorneys rather help companies and individuals in deciding how long it is profitable to have a monopoly on a given invention.
All of the above, of course, relates to the discussions and needs of those who want to protect their invention. And that’s precisely what we, as patent attorneys, are here to help with.
Who is a patent attorney?
Although a patent attorney has to navigate the various legislation related to IP protection and is in daily contact with the relevant authorities, this does not make him or her a lawyer or a clerk.
A patent attorney must:
- be a university graduate
- have at least 5 years of experience in the field of industrial (intellectual) property
- pass a professional examination at the Industrial Property Office
- take an oath before the Chairman of the Chamber of Patent Attorneys to observe the Constitution of the Czech Republic and other laws, to conscientiously fulfill the duties of a patent attorney, and to maintain confidentiality
- be recorded in the register of patent attorneys kept by the Chamber
- be a holder of certificate for practicing an industrial protection business issued by the Chamber
So what do patent attorneys study?
Patent attorneys have to know about proceedings before the Office. But as patents are granted for inventions (technical solutions), attorneys should also know their way around the invention’s field. In our team you will find specialists with various backgrounds: engineering, computer science, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, mathematics,… Not all of them are already patent attorneys, but they’re all headed there.
In fact, the path to becoming a patent attorney only begins with university and the professional exam. There’s still a lot to learn. That’s what professional courses, seminars, workshops, and mentoring from other professionals in the field are for.