The Art of Being a Patent Attorney

  1. A patent attorney must be trustworthy.  Patent attorneys are key players in the patent system and their essential honesty when dealing with their clients, other attorneys or patent offices.
  2. Always consider the client’s best interests, especially if they might not be aware of what these are.  Ensure they know which questions need to be asked in very situation.
  3. Take responsibility for sorting things out.  Patent attorneys are best placed to sort out what needs to be done on a case.
  4. Offer advice on strategies.  Clients will need to be advised on the strategies that are available and whether these need to be changed in view of changing circumstances.  For example a change in commercial priorities may mean that certain cases should no longer be pursued.
  5. Make sure deadlines monitored properly. Informing of deadlines, and then reminding and chasing a client is an important part of everyday attorney practice.
  6. Make sure charges are not unexpected. Clients should always be kept in the picture about how much everything is costing, so that they do not receive unpleasant surprises.
  7. Try to make sure you know the relevant commercial background, for example whether there are competitors to think about or whether litigation or opposition are likely.
  8. Be careful with speculative filings.  Filing too many speculative cases can give a misleading picture of the strength of the portfolio.
  9. Know how important a case may be.  Try to be in a position where you can advise on how to prioritise use of resources.
  10. Always inform the client of options, assumptions you make when you offer options and the level of commitment that each option requires.
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