Hi. My name is Mark Trenner. I’m a patent attorney. I started my own law firm, the Trenner Law Firm, in 2004, that is over 10 years now that I’ve been helping individuals, start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses to file patent applications to protect their invention. I’ve been practicing now for over fifteen years and during that time, I’ve written hundreds of patent applications.
Today I’m here to answer your question, how can a patent attorney or a patent lawyer help an inventor. First of all, what’s the difference between a patent lawyer and a patent attorney? There is no difference. It’s just some people like to be called a patent lawyer and some people like to be called a patent attorney. It’s the same thing. They’re going to be registered to practice before the patent office and registered as an attorney in one state or more states. I’m registered, for example, in the State of Colorado as an attorney and before the patent office as a patent attorney. How can a patent attorney help you? A patent attorney’s expertise is usually going to be in preparing and writing patent applications and working with the examiners in the patent office to hopefully get a patent issued for your invention. I can’t make any guarantees that we’ll be able to do that for you but that’s our job.
Inventors, a lot of the time, will say can you help me market this. No, I’m not a marketing expert. Maybe some patent attorneys are. It’s been my experience that most patent attorneys are good at writing patent applications and working with the patent office but not marketing products. You’ll need to find a marketing expert for that. Can I help you make a prototype? No, I can’t help you make a prototype. Again, I’m not a prototyper, I’m a patent attorney. You may need to find someone to help you make a prototype. In fact, I usually recommend that you get a prototype made, especially if you want to take this to market and if you want to sell it to companies. They’re going to want to see more than just a patent application from you.
But, what can a patent attorney help you with? We can help you file a patent application, we can help advise you whether to do a patent search, what type of patent application to file, whether it’s a plant, utility, design, provisional patent. We can help you with foreign filing (filing outside of the United States). We can help you negotiate a license. We can write a license agreement for you, we can help you assign a patent. Basically, a patent attorney’s going to be able to help you do anything in the legal world as it relates to patents but not in the business or marketing world.
My name is Mark Trenner. I’m a patent attorney. I hope that I answered your question today of what can a patent attorney help me do.