Are Patent Agencies Necessary for Your Business?
Did you create a new machine that helps you do your work faster? Perhaps you invented a new method of doing something or developed a new product altogether. Whenever you create something new, it’s a good idea to apply for a patent to protect your invention. In fact, if you own your own company, business law recommends not only applying for a patent but using a patent agent to do so.
What Does a Patent Agent Do?
A patent agent is someone who is registered to either help others register their own patents or to register them on someone else’s behalf. Someone who wants to become a patent agent must pass an exam and have a background in scientific education and technical training equal to at least a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering. Preferably, the agent will specialize in something, such as microbiology. Although it isn’t a requirement, some patent agents are also attorneys. Patent agents who are also attorneys must register to practice before the USPTO.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Patent Agent?
If you decide to follow the advice of business law and hire a patent agent, you can expect to pay two different costs. First, you’ll need to pay the application fee, which varies depending on how large your business is and what type of application you need to file. This fee ranges from $75 to $300 or higher. Of course, you’ll also need to pay the agent, which is where the second fee applies. This fee depends on several factors as well, most notably how complicated your patent application is and how much experience your chosen agent has. Whether the agent is also an attorney does not have any bearing on the cost of the service in most cases.
Do You Need To Hire a Patent Agent?
Simply put, it is a good idea to hire a patent agent, even if you think you don’t need one since business law doesn’t require it. Patent applications are often extremely complex and nearly 300,000 of them are filed each year. The laws also change often, which means you risk not filling the application out correctly if you aren’t careful. Due to the complexities, trying to fill everything out yourself could lead you to do so more slowly than a large corporation with a similar idea, leaving you in the dust in some cases. The best idea is to hire a responsible and experienced patent agent. He or she can help you fill out your information and, hopefully, keep all the rights to your unique invention.