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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Oh trying to find a good landscaper

the lawn is growing like crazy weeds crazy in the back my backyard got to clean it up how do you find a landscaper you got me but how do you find a solid patent attorney okay it’s a great service area how do you find a trusted advisor uh to move your invention forward right this is your baby how do you make sure you’re working with the right firm and the right people i’m jd hovener managing partner and ceo here at bold patton’s law firm it’s my pleasure to talk with you here today about how to find the right ip and patent firm that’s right for you [Music] so i brought this down in about four different stages i want to make sure we kind of get into uh the real holistic way to find a great match right what is the best way to move forward with your invention to know you’ve got a trusted partner in this the first step is making sure that you really do need patents the second thing is looking at the differences between a big firm a medium-sized firm and the small firm right size does matter the third aspect looking at people it does actually matter about who the people are and understanding their backgrounds and their way of working the main difference is are they someone that’s working directly with you in person and if that’s important to you or if you’re more comfortable with a virtual uh remote uh someone who’s on the phone or through video or through email last but not least go with your gut we’ll talk about how gut feel does have a lot to go with it and what i mean by gut is it’s your own style meaning how involved do you really want to be with this process and that’s going to really set the stage for a lot of the way you should decide in working with the right law firm patent attorney an ip firm all right so first of all patents is the right aspect for you and this is a great starting point because a lot of inventors start out thinking yeah i’ve got to start my company and the best way to get started is with patents and you’ve got to understand that lawyers come from all different walks right lawyers have backgrounds in business law and tax and formation and intellectual property and they don’t all do it all right at bull patton’s law firm all we do is federal patent prosecution some law firms do it all right and they’re big mega firms like they are in a downtown area and they do everything from wills and estates and business planning and contracts and licensing right and including ip and patents that may be a good fit for you um but let’s talk about what your actual needs are in helping to get oriented and getting started off the ground in most cases you probably don’t need all those bells and whistles of a different service area if you’re getting started and you’re a first-time inventor solo you haven’t even formed your company yet you may want to make sure that your technology your innovation is patentable first and so it doesn’t sort of make sense for you to hire a business attorney uh hire that big downtown firm um to help you with everything if they’re sort of you know sort of jack of all trades when really all you need is that expert in patent law so first understanding what your needs are where you’re at in your product life cycle and your company age and you know overall experience this is your first rodeo this is the first time you’re going through an invention process i do encourage you to look and seek out a solo or a small a small firm right and and that’s going to be probably the best fit for you in terms of the uh the need you know the legal need they’re going to be able to help you understand uh your invention of course and walk you through whether you know patenting that is a smart thing and again that’s why i’m huge proponent of seeking an attorney’s opinion versus some of those you know less uh less scrupulous or more scrupulous companies like uh invent help or davison or those marketing companies that hey they’ve got their place but they’re not going to give you the legal advice that i honestly think inventors deserve to put their first first step forward and make sure they know what they’re getting into before they get started so um that’s step ones making sure you’re in the right field of law and getting the right attention you need the second is the size of the firm let’s talk about the differences between those big mega firms medium firms and small firms and what they can do the main reason right the main reason why big firms exist is so they can serve big clients really well okay big clients like facebook or amazon or google boeing mega companies that have products and gadgets and many employees and a lot of need for innovation and need to get patents documented to protect their own domain those big firms really work great for those companies that need a lot of bandwidth that need a lot of exposure and help and hand holding and support with ancillary activities about licensing the patent or contracting with investors lining up their corporations with the different portfolios that they’ve been building those bigger firms are fantastic at working with the bigger clients it’s sort of the you know the the mercedes or the ferrari of law firms they’ve got everything you need the medium-sized law firms have probably a lot fewer of those bells and whistles they really are not that well positioned to work with the mega big companies like i just listed right um but at the same time they’ve got a lot of the horsepower of the bigger firms but in a smaller scale now the smaller firms they’re probably not going to have really any of those like a lot of like our firm i would consider us to be a small firm we don’t really offer those ancillary legal services like entity formations or licensing or contract state law we’re really just that federal patent law and so it’s that niche boutique law firm that does suit uh individuals and folks are looking for one specific thing and what’s interesting is that a lot of times those smaller firms end up working a lot better with solo and individual inventors small businesses because they really are small businesses themselves and so it’s a great relationship oftentimes we have with our inventors and that they’re they’re like us we’re just getting started we’re we’re just you know a sort of a burgeoning you know relatively small you know firm kind of like what they are and so having that that sort of a balance is nice and it’s refreshing to sort of be able to say i know where you’re coming from i know you’re bootstrapping you’re trying to make it work uh in a way our firm is as well and so we’re always looking for ways to save our clients money or advise them down the right path uh for the whole client not just for their invention if that makes sense a bigger firm or even a medium-sized firm to that extent may not be quite on the same page as a solo inventor or a small business and not really appreciate those pains that they’re going through all right so that’s the difference between kind of the sizes of firms this third one is probably the most important actually understanding the people within the firm this is who you’re gonna be working with this is the individuals the human beings that you’re working with uh what’s what’s sort of interesting is a lot of people look up law firms on online like i was looking up landscapers earlier and you think about you know the corporate website and the page and kind of the about us and who we are as a team and our core values but honestly it’s about the people you know john smith you know uh barbara smith these actual people that are there at the law firm getting to know them and appreciating understanding who they are and hearing from them either on the phone or in person is going to make a big difference in how you perceive what they’re like many patent attorneys right they’ve gone through a science degree they’ve gone through undergraduate law school they’ve gone through a patent bar the state bar and these people have a lot of credentials to them they’ve been through the ringer a couple of times and they’re qualified okay if they’ve got a designation uspto patent attorney they’re all qualified we’re all darn good at what we do the question is are they in the right firm for you and aren’t they a good fit for you personally do you like to talk with them do you relate well with them do they have the same core values and mission that you do that’s really the point about number three is getting to know this individual and in a way interviewing them right even if you’re paying for a half hour consultation to speak with them they think they’re deciding whether you’re a good fit for them you of course are interviewing them to see if they’re a good fit for you you should be thinking about it in terms of a long-term relationship because patent isn’t a one or two week type of project in and out we’re talking a multi-year project and that’s just for one invention most inventors i know have several inventions up their sleeve so this is something you’ll be working with this individual in this firm for several years don’t make the decision quickly and make sure you understand this is someone an actual individual you’re going to like down the road last but not least is their style of work i mentioned this briefly about you know bigger small companies and how they can work with you are you going to be comfortable with a virtual representation and that’s how our firm works is 100 virtual we we don’t see any of our clients in person and we like it like that because we actually work more efficiently that way we’re able to do work over the email and phone and video conferencing and get work done a whole lot faster more efficiently than we could if we had to make you drive through traffic sit in the parking lot wait in the lobby and meet us face to face i mean despite all this covid you know coronavirus issue we had never done that because it’s never made sense for us to put our clients through that we want to meet them where they’re at you know don’t leave your workshop don’t leave your space of work keep on work on your invention and just flip on the phone and talk with us walk us through what you’re working on don’t waste time at all but if you’re someone that just has to has to see someone in person in the flesh and you know shake hands with somebody then our firm would not be a good fit right but you can understand when you’re looking for the right ip or patent firm that’s a it must meet your style and understand your style and what you need and what you desire is essential so those are the four main ways to be able to find the right patent attorney or ip firm for you you know looking at the different sizes of firms what we talked about big the small the medium whether patent law is the right area for you if you need a full service or just patent law whether they’re a good personal fit for you if you like them as a person if you’re really making a good connection with them individually and then lastly we talked about is it the right style for you virtual in-person how do they deliver their legal services is that going to work for you that’s the best way those are the four ways that i found my most inventors that i speak with have done a great job in finding us or have found other firms that work better for them so without further ado i’ll let wrap up i want to let you also know if you don’t uh already have it as a bookmark please visit our website at forward slash blog there i’ve written a full list of detailed blog article about this specific subject and others there that go into even more detail and if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy of my book old ideas the inventor’s guide to patents has got a great chapter chapter nine all about how to hire a registered u.s patent attorney this book is available on pdf download on our website today and also you can book a consultation if you’re ready to get started as well my pleasure talking with you here today about how to find a new ip or patent firm i’m jd hoovener uspto registered patent attorney and managing partner and owner at bold patton’s law firm have a great day everybody go big go bowl


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