What's the best way to find specific patent firms and individual attorneys who specialize in the technology area of my application?

It seems that the best patent attorneys tend to have specialties. My assumption is that a specialist in my technology field would work more quickly, I'd all have more fun working with him or her, and the resulting applications would be more likely to be granted by the USPTO.

I'm interested in highest quality, not lowest cost. I usually write the initial draft of the specification and look to a patent attorney for important editing and finalization of the patent application.


  • Matt, Can you share what technology area(s) you are interested in as specifically as possible? It would be interesting for the AskPatents community to do some analytics looking at which prosecution attorneys are most active in those areas to help you out... Let us know! – Micah Siegel Jun 6 '13 at 4:00
  • Thanks Micah, I'll take a rain check on that for when I'm sure what's the dominant 'area' in my case. I posted this question early on, to avoid a slow bootstrap in selecting an office when it's eventually ready. That's a very great idea if something like this can really work out! it's amazing how stackexchange for patents makes a difference in this once shady domain. – matt Jun 6 '13 at 18:49

Seeing that your profile says you're in Palo Alto and affiliated with Stanford, I think you could probably find a good patent attorney just by driving up and down Page Mill Road, or asking some of your colleagues. But perhaps you were looking for something more?

One approach is to look at successfully asserted or widely-licensed patents in your field and see what firm, attorney, or agent, prosecuted those patents. The theory behind this approach is that a well written patent is one that is not easily invalidated when it is asserted.

Maybe your metric is speed of issuance? In that case, you might be able to pay for a service (or create your own tools) that compares application date with issue date for patents that are of interest to you.

I'm hard pressed to think of other quantifiable ways of measuring quality, but if you're experienced with patents you might simply look through a handful of patents in your area and contact the attorneys who worked on the ones you like.

  • Ben, I'm in Palo Alto but I merely edited the question for clarity. – Micah Siegel Jun 6 '13 at 3:59
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    Thanks Ben! those are good ideas and some of them I wouldn't think of myself. Micah thanks for the edit, it does strike a bit odd how the privacy policy of this site is constructed :-) you are right anyway. I assume there shouldn't be great difference for international clients between offices. Any special considerations there in your view? – matt Jun 6 '13 at 18:58

My best advice is to ask other inventors you know. Also, the top person in town is very unlikely to edit and finalize patent applications written by the inventor. It's like the mechanic's sign: $50/hour, $60 if you watch, $80 if you help.

  • You are right, need to keep it motivating.... A softened approach indeed, is to write it up as a great description but not in a way that is more than the core of an application - having the attorney develop the application rather than edit one. But still sending out great descriptions that shorten the interviewing cycles, those descriptions taking into account what would be needed for each section but not trying to be those sections. – matt Jun 9 '13 at 13:24

I work for a company that might be able to help. Here is a way to identify patent attorneys active in specific technological areas and geographical regions: http://www.patent-pilot.com/en

  • Welcome to Ask Patents. I'm happy you decided to share your business on this question, and that looks like it might be a useful site for people looking at it. I just wanted to let you know, I've edited your answer slightly to disclose your affiliation with the company (which I concluded from your name) to be in accordance with our help center rules on self-promotion. Please be sure to keep them in mind for future posts, and again, welcome to the site! – Matthew Haugen Dec 30 '15 at 9:20

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