Patent attorneys and patent agents (called patent professionals) must have a science or engineering background and must pass the arduous U.S.P.T.O.’s Patent Bar Exam proving they have sufficient knowledge of U.S. patent laws and regulations. Like most professions, the competency of the patent professional depends on many factors, such as the individual’s background, intelligence, work experience, work load, his or her thoroughness, and their attention to detail.
U.S. and foreign patent rules and regulations have strict rules regarding behaviors and timelines that must be followed in order to obtain a patent. If a particular act occurs, or a time deadline is missed, the opportunity to file a patent application may be permanently lost. The rules regarding behaviors or timelines must be sorted out before a patent application is filed and a patent professional understands these rules and regulations.
It is important that the invention be adequately described in both provisional and utility patent applications.
Communication between the inventor and the patent professional is vital so that the invention is fully understood.
Experience in writing and prosecuting patent applications is also important because it provides a historical perspective and a sensitivity to issues that guides the patent professional.