Patent law attorneys in Braselton know the myths circulating about this part of the profession.
A patent law attorney works in intellectual property law, which is a fascinating subset of the legal profession. However, many clients have misconceptions about what patent law legal practitioners actually do. Let’s talk about some of these misunderstandings.
Patent Lawyers Can Always Create Intellectual Property Protections
Patent lawyers are pretty capable legal professionals, but they cannot write the law, interpret the law or produce a verdict. These are powers only Congress, judges and juries possess. All a lawyer can do is craft legal arguments to best advocate for their clients. So if a client wants a patent, the patent lawyer can’t guarantee the client can get one. This could be for several reasons, such as what the client wants to patent already has a patent.
Also, even if an attorney can help a client obtain patent protections for an invention, that doesn’t guarantee no one will try to copy it. A patent lawyer can help their client prosecute those that violate the patent, but the lawyer can’t control the mind of a violator. If someone really wants to copy a patented invention, they will, regardless of the legal threats or actions a patent lawyer takes. Basically, there’s the law and there’s what people do. The lawyer can only work within the law and cannot control human behavior.
A Patent Attorney Can Handle All Types of Patent Cases
In theory, a patent attorney can handle the vast majority of patent cases. However, this doesn’t really work in the real world. This is because patent law includes a wide variety of technical and scientific concepts. For example, an attorney that knows how to work with patents relating to the genetic engineering of bacteria probably won’t be as effective handling a case dealing with a brand new type of computer microchip operating on the principles of quantum mechanics. If a client needs legal assistance with these two types of legal issues, it’s probably best to hire two different attorneys, one for each case.
For fundamental matters, it’s possible some patent attorneys can handle the majority of their client’s patent needs. But when it comes to filing a patent application or litigating a patent dispute, clients are best served by having the patent attorney with the most experience and knowledge in the specific legal matter.
Patent Lawyers Can Patent an Idea
Ideas cannot receive patent protection. Only inventions can have a patent. For an invention to obtain a patent, it must qualify as a process, machine, article of manufacture or composition of matter.
In the United States, there are two types of patents: utility and design. A utility patent protects what the invention does. Utility patents are the most common types of patents.
A design patent only protects how an invention looks. A notable example is the Statute of Liberty, which received a design patent in 1879. Design patents are relatively rare. In short, the client can only patent something the law allows. If the law doesn’t allow for it, there’s not much the patent attorney can do.
Click to learn more about hiring or consulting with a patent law attorney by contacting the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.