Come up with a great new idea? Want to protect it with a patent? You may have heard about patent attorneys and now be asking yourself, “What is a patent attorney?” A patent attorney is a person who represents a patent applicant or patent holder and is specially qualified to do so. Patent attorneys can help clients file, prosecute (e.g. respond to examination reports) and maintain patents as well as act for clients in patent oppositions and provide patent validity and infringement advice.

What is a patent attorney supposed to do?

The Institute of Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia website provides a good summary of what activities patent attorneys can carry out:

How can you trust a patent attorney?

Registration as a patent attorney in Australia is administered by the Professional Standards Board for Patents and Trade Marks Attorneys. The relevant board in each country generally codifies the ethical and professional requirements for patent attorneys, including the administration of the disciplinary regime for the profession. Some Australian patent attorneys are fellows or ordinary members of the Institute of Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, the professional body governing the patent attorney profession in Australia.

Patent attorneys have a right of privilege in their communication with clients in respect of intellectual property matters. Under Australian law, patent attorneys must, in the ordinary course of events, keep client disclosures confidential.

What is a patent attorney’s technical expertise?

Patent attorneys generally must have an engineering or science degree and have completed a group of topics prescribed by the relevant board in their respective countries. For example, in Australia, the body of topics may constitute a Masters degree such as the Master of Industrial Property offered by the University of Technology, Sydney.

Important Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice. The information may:

  1. not be correct;
  2. only relate to the law or practice in a given country; and/or
  3. be outdated.