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Before talking about Patent Attorneys, it is important to talk about the Patent. The Patent is a right granted by the government for the invention created by the inventor and for getting a granted Patent it is important to follow prescribed Law or Rule set by the government. To do so, an invention needs to be passed through the set procedure or criteria made by the government. Sometimes, the inventor himself/herself chooses to follow the said procedure. However, in most of the cases, it is difficult for the inventor to know or understand about the complete procedure or applicable Law or Rule required for getting the granted Patent. There is no doubt that inventor is the best person to judge his/her invention but there are certain prescribed Law or Rule that have to be followed in order to minimize the probability of rejection of the filed Patent application in the examination stage.
Patent Attorneys are those professionals who hold the best possible knowledge and qualifications to deal with a Patent related matter. Patent Attorneys are well versed with the legal as well as technical understanding which enables them for meeting the set requirements of the Patent and related Laws. It is important to understand that Patent applications are not only technical document rather it is a techno-legal document which should be drafted from technical as well as legal point of view. The techno-legal document contains claim(s) which is the most important part for the enforcement of right, and it requires legal as well as technical skill in order to cover the invention in a manner that provides the best possible protection of the invention.
Basically, the role of Patent Attorneys for the Patent related matter can be divided into three phases:
a) Before the Patent filing phase:
i) Patent Attorneys can help in giving the patentability opinion by conducting the Novelty or Patentability search for the invention, the search can provide a clear understanding of the invention. Based on the search report, one can take an informed decision to proceed further. Drafting, filing and maintaining of the Patent application requires a lot of money. So, it is better to have some understanding from the search report about the probability of getting the granted Patent before filing it. The Search report also helps in the drafting of the Patent application by providing clear understanding of the prior art or the state- of-the-art for claiming the invention in the best possible way so that it won’t claim the invention which is already claimed or Patented.
b) Patent drafting, filing, and the grant phase:
i) Patent Attorneys can help in the drafting of Patent Application by considering all the technical and legal knowledge;
ii) Preparation of the prescribed Forms;
iii) For advising the best possible way for getting the granted Patent in the most effective, efficient and in best possible time frame;
iv) In representing the Patent case before the controller during the examination and in hearing.
c) After the grant of Patent application phase:
i) Can help in maintaining and fulfillment of other requirements related to the granted Patent;
ii) Can advice for licensing, selling and other transactional matter related with the Patent;
iii) Can represent in the litigation for the cases related to the infringement and other legal matter.
The word "Patent Attorneys" per se is not defined under the Law. However, it can be interpreted or used in the following two ways:
1. Registered Patent Attorneys in India are those professionals who have qualified the Patent Agent exam and have a technical degree along with a law degree;
In this case, Patent Attorneys in India are those professionals who are competent for the drafting of the Patent application, preparation of prescribed forms and filing of forms with the signatures in the Patent office. Further, Patent Attorneys are also competent to represent the case before the controller and in the litigation before the court.
2. Patent Attorneys in India are those professionals who have a law degree and are representing the Patent related matter in the litigation:
In this case, Patent Attorneys in India are those professionals who can represent the Patent related matter in front of the controller for hearing and in litigation before the court.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that Patent Attorneys can play a crucial role in providing the best possible approach for protecting and utilizing the Patent in the business strategy. A Patent can play a crucial role in the business decision or for making the future strategic plan, in all cases, Patent Attorneys can help in taking the informed decision from the technical and legal front which eventually may lower down the risks related to the Patent dispute.
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