Can an attorney help secure a design patent? 2 Answers as of September 28, 2010

I have an idea which I have checked and is unpatented technically and I need to secure a patent on the design before I can begin selling it. I have very little money though so I would like a waiver on the initial fees, making my patent attorney an investor and shareholder.

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
NO - only an attorney registered as a patent attorney and holding a registration number from the US Patent and Trademark Office is allowed by law to help you.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/28/2010
Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
While contingency fee agreements are common in other areas of law, Patent Attorneys do not usually work as investors and shareholders with their clients. An attorney is hired to be your adviser and advocate, and he owes you a duty of loyalty and confidentiality, amongst other duties. As such, there is an inherent conflict of interest between the parties and can lead to complications in the future. For example, if the two parties enter into an agreement to split the fees and earnings, was the attorney looking after YOUR best interest or HIS when he negotiated the agreement. Furthermore, if your attorney discloses the invention to an investor, is he breaching his duty of confidentiality to his client (you)? These are just a few examples of why Patent Attorneys do not engage in these agreements with their clients.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/28/2010
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