What is the difference between a patent agent and a patent lawyer? 3 Answers as of December 02, 2010

I do not have much money, but I need to get my invention patented. Would a patent agent be a cost-effective alternative to a patent attorney? My invention is not very complicated, but I am very concerned about making sure my application is accepted. What are the differences between patent agents and attorneys?

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
Both patent agents and patent attorneys have passed the Patent Bar, allowing them to practice before the USPTO. A patent attorney has also gone to law school and is a licensed attorney in at least one state. Both patent agents and patent attorneys charge varying amounts, and either can be more or less expensive than the other.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
A patent attorney has a law degree and can help enforce your patent when there is an infringement of it. Patent agents are not particularly cheaper. For example as a baseline I charge about $4500 to draft then $500 for professional drawings and $462 for the filing fee. Use this to compare prices.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/29/2010
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
A patent agent has an engineering or science degree but no law degree. A patent attorney had both a science or engineering undergrad and a law degree.

It depends on how much experience they have and how well they have been trained. I know some excellent patent agents.

But do not expect help if you have legal issues such as enforcing your patent or designing around competitors patents.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/24/2010
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