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Whether you’re a startup, university or large company, working with a patent litigation attorney can benefit your business in various ways. Here are 7 of the most common benefits. Patent litigation is a unique practice area where law, commerce and technology all overlap. This makes the work both challenging and intellectually stimulating.

Detailed Guidance

Working with a patent litigation attorney can help you take action if you are a company looking for patent protection. They can assist you with everything from applying to negotiating a settlement. A patent litigator is often a lawyer with a background in a technical field or a former patent examiner. However, they must have a good grasp of the business side and a strong sense of what patents can mean for their clients.

Experience

Whether working for a large law firm or an in-house patent team, patent litigation attorneys have a wide range of experience. This can include drafting and prosecuting applications, preparing appeals, defending against patent claims, licensing and other IP issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, and other litigation matters. In addition, patent attorneys are often involved in pre-trial and trial practice, taking expert depositions and drafting direct and cross-examination outlines. This makes it an exciting and challenging career.

Time Saving

Time is a major cost for many businesses, and patent litigation can be particularly costly. A good patent attorney will save you money in the long run by providing strategic counsel, helping you avoid infringement issues, and maximizing the chances of getting your invention granted. The legal fees for patent cases vary depending on the economics and demands of the case. Some firms offer a flat rate, while others use hourly or results-based fee models. Working with a fixed-fee patent attorney is often beneficial to get the most cost-effective representation. Having a fixed fee means that you will know the cost of your project upfront and will be able to budget accordingly.

Focus

Patent litigation is a challenging and rewarding practice area. It involves interpreting the limits of unique legal documents (patents) as they apply to products and processes in real-world circumstances and rewards creative, strategic thinking. Attorneys must be able to explain complex evidence clearly and comprehensibly to juries and judges in order to litigate technical cases successfully. They may need a technical degree and experience in engineering or scientific fields to help them achieve this. Often, patent litigators focus on the technology sector where law, commerce and science intersect. As a result, they are frequently engaged in work that involves solving puzzles of one kind or another, which can be extremely interesting and intellectually stimulating.

Expertise

The expert advice provided by a patent litigation attorney is invaluable for a company. This includes advising on the patentability of inventions, on the drafting of patent applications, and on issues concerning patent infringement and validity. A good patent litigator can explain technical concepts in a manner that is understandable and comprehensible to a jury or court. This skill comes from experience in analyzing the case’s technical aspects and understanding the legal framework.

A Ph.D. is not necessary to work as a patent lawyer, although a good background in science (e.g., physics, engineering, math, chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics) is important. Most patent law firms will not accept applicants with less than a master’s degree in a relevant discipline.

Prior Art Searching

A prior art search finds products, inventions and concepts similar to an idea you want to patent or manufacture. This research can help you determine whether your idea is novel or non-obvious, two requirements for obtaining a patent. A patent attorney can provide you with a thorough prior art search to ensure that your idea is original and non-obvious. This can save you time and money in the long run by reducing the chances that your invention will be rejected during the patent application process. A prior art search can also be used to oppose new patents or to find potential infringers of your issued patent. This can help you avoid future lawsuits by identifying those who may try to patent ideas too close to your invention to be legal.

Knowledge

Patent litigation is a highly technical practice area where attorneys must be well-versed in the legal aspects of drafting and prosecuting patents. They also need to be familiar with other forms of intellectual property, such as designs, trademarks and copyright. Early in their careers, junior associates will report to a senior central associate or a junior partner and should plan on working closely with expert witnesses during cases. They will then develop further contacts with in-house counsel and inventors as they progress. As a result, they will learn how to formulate an IP strategy for a client based on that company’s business strategy and objectives. This will include advising on licensing arrangements and negotiating other intellectual property agreements that may come up about the patent they are representing.

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