Patent attorney

From ArticleWorld

A Patent Attorney is an attorney at law who has specialized in patent law. A Patent is a legal monopoly that helps inventors to enjoy the commercial gains of their inventions. Thus, the work of a patent attorney involves obtaining patents for their clients from the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for inventions that are really new and innovative. Once a patent is granted patent attorneys help their clients to protect their rights, especially if they feel that their patents are being infringed. Patent attorneys are also referred to as patent lawyers or patent agents with varying authority.

Patent bar or qualification

The prerequisites for qualifying as a patent attorney are more or less standard across nations. In order to be registered as a patent agent in the United States, one must pass the USPTO registration examination. It is not required to have a law degree to take the exam or, indeed, to have any background in law studies. However, the American PTO entails that all candidates have a background in any of the hard sciences. (a bachelors degree. in chemistry, physics, biology or engineering).

To be registered as a patent agent in Canada requires candidates to complete a twelve month course and then at the end of the period write four notoriously tough exams to qualify to represent clients.

In Europe, in order to qualify as a European Patent Attorney and practice before the European Patent Office, it is required that all candidates write the European Qualifying Exam. The candidature also requires a scientific or engineering degree though in many cases a long experience in scientific matters will suffice.

To become a patent attorney or a patent agent in U.K. a degree in a science, engineering or technical subject is required. A set of foundation papers followed by a set of advanced papers need to be cleared to gain entry to the Register of Patent Agents.

In Japan candidates who want to practice as patent lawyers (Japanese benrishi) need to write a qualifying exam and are given many powers similar to attorneys within the field of intellectual property law.

In order to become a patent attorney in Germany, a degree in engineering or natural sciences is a must before the candidates are accepted for an additional three years of education. At the end of this they write an exam at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) and pass in order to qualify as a Patent Attorney.