Common Questions Asked to Denver Patent Attorneys, and attorney Mark Trenner’s Answers:

This is 2 of 10 of a series of questions and answers by Mark Trenner on a local Denver radio show…


Do you have to be registered with the US Patent Office to file your own patent application?


No. You can file as what is called a “pro-se” applicant – or “on behalf of yourself” without having to pass the patent bar exam. I just give this as an example of the complexity of the patenting process, and reason why individuals might want to consider hiring a patent agent or patent attorney to assist them.


What’s the difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney?


A patent agent is someone who has a technical education and has passed the patent bar exam, but has not gone to law school and is not registered as an attorney. Patent agents can prepare and file and prosecute patent applications with the US Patent Office. But patent agents cannot give any legal advice.


A patent attorney has the same qualifications as a patent agent, but has also gone to law school and is registered as an attorney. In addition to doing everything that a patent agent can do, patent attorneys can help with legal issues, such as assigning or licensing an invention, filing a trademark application, and infringement.


You mentioned infringement, what does that mean?


Patent infringement is when someone else makes, uses, or sells someone else’s patented invention without a license to do so. If you are the patent owner, you can file a court action requesting the judge to order the infringer not to make, use, or sell your patented invention.