Recommendations for patent attorney?
October 10, 2012 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Asking the hivemind for recommendations for a patent lawyer. Friend (lives in Chicago but willing to consider lawyers from any jurisdiction) has questions about patentability of his idea and potentially needs a patent attorney to help him with the prior art search and nonprovisional patent. Please post your recommendations in the comments or send me MeFi mail. Thanks!
posted by snafu to Law & Government (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Your friend should consult with a local lawyer. I would recommend the Illinois Bar's lawyer referral service.

Ideas are not patentable. For example, the transporter on Star Trek is an idea but not patentable because no one has ever made one. Does your friend just have an idea, or has he actually made a prototype? (I am assuming the idea is for a physical invention and not a business method)
posted by Tanizaki at 3:01 PM on October 10, 2012

Response by poster: He's actually made a prototype -- sorry about the confusion there. I'll send him the link to the lawyer referral service. Thanks!
posted by snafu at 3:05 PM on October 10, 2012

You don't necessarily need an attorney; a patent agent should be skilled and experienced in the technical details of a prior art search.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:29 PM on October 10, 2012

This guy in the suburbs helped me out with some copyright questions, and went over a licensing contract with me. He also gave me some good advice and suggestions and explained everything in a straightforward manner. Not sure what his rate is now but it was not that expensive to sit down and talk to him and go over the contract.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:08 PM on October 10, 2012

I sent you a Mefi mail.
posted by invisible ink at 4:48 PM on October 10, 2012

Tanizaki, prototypes are not necessary, but an explanation detailed enough that "one skilled in the art [whatever art you are practicing]" could build it. Of course it helps to have a prototype, but it is not required.
posted by BillW at 5:16 AM on October 11, 2012

I understand that a prototype is not necessary (and never said one was), but the question was about "patentability of his idea". I wanted to get a sense of what there was besides an idea. If your experience is anything like mine, you may have met a few people who claim to have invented something but never really got beyond having an idea.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:01 AM on October 11, 2012

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