In this era of specialization, a startup can’t simply have one lawyer who will do all of its work. A corporate and finance lawyer may handle projects such as the company’s initial incorporation, securities offerings, loan financings, and general contracts. But many startups also need to consult with an attorney on patenting their product or business model. A corporate attorney generally will not have much knowledge on this topic (and if he does, it may be a red flag that your attorney is spreading himself a little too thin – corporate law and patent law are both complicated areas requiring in-depth specialization). How does one go about finding a patent lawyer? For one, if you already have a corporate lawyer, you can ask him for some recommendations.
I recently came across this article that entrepreneurs may find useful: How to Find a Good Patent Lawyer. It makes some good points, such as the importance of conducting an in-depth interview of your potential lawyer. I do disagree with one of its other points: the author argues that it’s a bad idea to ask your personal and business contacts for recommendations and that you should instead go onto a site like lawyers.com to find a patent lawyer. Lawyers.com is an advertising site, pure and simple. For sure, if your contact recommends going to a friend’s brother who is an attorney that does “wills and stuff” (as the article uses as an example) then certainly don’t take such a recommendation. However, if your contact is sophisticated in business, you probably won’t get a useless recommendation like that and may instead get some insightful leads. Good luck.
Article Referenced: How to Find a Good Patent Lawyer
© 2011 Alexander J. Davie — This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.