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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show. Whether you’re an inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, here you get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Alright, we’re here in this five-part series talking about patent search opinions and looking at all the different options you have as an inventor, as a business owner. Maybe you’re hiring an inventor as an employee, whether that’s what you want to do, you’re ready to do some research, you’ve got your invention package stuff, but you’re not quite sure whether it’s been done before.

So, we’ve talked this whole week about all the different options that you have. We’ve been through the option of not doing a search at all, doing the search on your own, and then hiring a sort of cheap online LegalZoom type of service. If you want to take it one more step in terms of making things better, you can hire a patent agent. Now, a patent agent is not an attorney, but they are registered at the Patent Office. That means they’ve taken and passed an examination, and they have the knowledge of patent law. They understand as much as an examiner does.

So, you’re basically hiring a patent examiner off the clock to go do research for you. Now, that’s way better than, of course, not doing a search, doing it yourself, or doing a really cheap online search with some party that’s not necessarily licensed. The major issue with hiring a patent agent is that it’s still going to be unclear in terms of patentability. You don’t necessarily know whether your invention is one eligible under the current law because what is a patent agent missing? A lot. Having a law degree and an education in reading case law is huge in terms of patenting.

What happens between when legislative bills get passed and the next legislative bill gets passed? Several court cases, in fact, in this case, hundreds of court cases from the Federal Circuit of Appeals, district courts, and yes, the Supreme Court have come down since the last legislative change in patent law in 2013. You know, over five years ago, the patent laws were changed, and in that five years, like I said earlier, there have been over a hundred federal Supreme Court cases that have come down changing the law about how patents work. What a patent agent is going to miss is an actual understanding of the current law.

Unfortunately, by hiring a patent agent, it’s like you’re going to be doing the search equivalent to five years ago or whenever the last law was put into place. So, it’s going to be better than nothing, better than doing something online, but it’s not going to be the best model for you if you’re looking to get the absolute best certainty on patent eligibility and patentability. Well, I certainly don’t want to knock anyone else in the profession. You just got to know going into it eyes wide open what you’re getting when you hire a patent agent versus a patent attorney.

I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today Show. I hope this has been educational, and if you would please go visit our website at, we’ll get you more information about what a patentability opinion by a lawyer, a patent attorney, can get you. Hope you have a wonderful day today. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at