Could a Patent Lawyer Help Achieve Your Goals of Starting a New Business?

Minneapolis patent law firms

While they were waiting out the last few months before their EpiPens came out under generic names, the CEO of the drug company Mylon was in hot water over accusations of significant price hikes. And while the public was enraged at the price gouging, the drug company may indeed try to explain that they are merely trying to recoup the expensive fees for developing a life saving drug that they will soon lose full ownership of.

Perhaps the drug company controversy merely serves as proof of how important property and patent laws and how complicated their implementation can be. As a result, the decision to apply for a patent may seem fairly easy to make, filing the necessary legal papers, however, can be somewhat complicated if you decide to attempt the process without a patent lawyer. In fact, patent lawyers can make the process look easy, but that is only because they are in the business of keeping up to date on the necessary papers that are needed.
Although the cost of getting a patent in the year 1790 was only $4 to $5, the current fees are much higher. In fact, while the current filing fee has only increased to $130, by the time all of the necessary search and legal opinion is completed the fees typically land somewhere between $1000 and $3000. And while it may seem that paying additional legal fees of somewhere between $5000 for a simple design to as much as $16,000 for a patent on new software are pretty high, it is nearly impossible to make it through the process without the help of a patent lawyer.
One of the reasons that the patent process is so complicated is that there is a far greater competition and race for the patent of products. In the last 20 years, for instance, patent lawsuits have increased from an average of 500 a year to nearly 3,000 a year. More specifically, between the years 1998 and 2010, the number of annual U.S. patent applications doubled to more than 520,000. The beginning stage of search for similar patents can take time and money. Involving a patent lawyer can help the process of getting through the necessary stages as quickly as possible so you do not run into the problem of someone else capitalizing on a similar idea.
Do You Have an Idea for a New Product?
You better get a hold of a patent attorney as soon as you think that you might have an idea that is worth filing. The fact of the matter is that it can take months, even years, to get the necessary patent rights. And what many people do not realize is that a patent does not last forever. In fact, intellectual property lawyers will tell you that the term of a design patent is 14 years, and the length is measured from the date the patent is granted. And while different kinds of patents have different lengths, the decision to file a patent often turns into a race against the clock. Attempting to capitalize on a patented idea as much as possible before the patent expires can be a tricky game of charging as much as possible, while not over pricing the product.
It is fascinating that the very first day you file for a patent is actually the beginning of the end for how much time you will have to capitalize on the idea. For this reason, however, patent lawyers may encourage their clients to also apply for patents on variations of the original idea.
And while we might thing of patents as regulations for drug companies and innovators of both products and software, the truth is patents also become a major issue in every kind of new industry. For instance, as the nation continues to see the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana, lawyers anticipate a flood of patent requests for a variety of products that will accompany this growing enterprise. From testing mechanisms to make sure that you are still safe to drive after marijuana use to devices for accurate measuring, the growing marijuana industry will likely add to the growing number of patent requests.