How I can find patent attorneys or agents who are reliable? After a lot of searching, I find most of the websites of attorneys very 'spammy looking'.

Answers from people with previous experience on working with an agent or attorney will help the newbies with this dilemma.

  • The National Association of Patent Practitioners is an organization that is about 1/2 attorneys and 1/2 agents. Most members are in small firms or work solo. They have a "practitioner finder" napp.org/find-a-practitioner that allows selecting technology areas. I happen to be a member.
    – George White
    Apr 1, 2014 at 21:07
  • I just tried the "practitioner finder" for "Software" within 10 miles of New York, NY, and got 2 results: one for Japanese clients, and one for German-speaking clients. In other words, zero useful results for the most densely populated city in the U.S. Apr 7, 2014 at 15:09
  • Actually, it appears the practitioner finder is completely broken. I just tried searching for practitioners in all fields, within 100 miles of New York, and got 4 matches. Not exactly on the cutting edge... Apr 7, 2014 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


The USPTO maintains a list of attorneys and agents with licenses to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. Currently, there are 10741 active agents and 31669 active attorneys. All searches reflect current information. Information concerning a practitioner's status as an attorney is based on records provided to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and might not reflect the practitioner's status in a State Bar. Individuals interested in a practitioner's status in a State Bar should contact that State Bar for specific information.

I strongly recommend searching LinkedIN and reading the profiles of and endorsement of many patent attorneys/agents. I have received another inquiries from my site and i and others will often guide an inventor to a specialist.

Other sources include AIPLA-the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property Law, Martin-Hubbell Lawyer Locator, and Alllaw.com which contains a number of links on finding a patent lawyer for a variety of patent needs, as well as a listing of IP attorneys by state.


Start by trying to get a referral to a patent attorney from someone you know such as someone who is an inventor, entrepreneur or startup. Alternatively, ask an attorney you know for a referral. Getting a personal reference helps get the attention of the patent attorney you are contacting and makes it more likely they will do a good job because of accountability to the person who referred them.

Alternatively, try a website such as AVVO.com or the attorney/agent search at the USPTO.

Also, depending on where you live, consider working with a patent attorney that is not local. Since patents are federal law, patent attorneys can work with clients in any state (or event worldwide). For example, you might find a more qualified patent attorney candidate in a larger metropolitan market, or you might find more affordable options away from a larger metropolitan market.

Check out the following for links to the websites above and a helpful patent attorney screening form to help sort candidates. http://www.patentsdemystified.com/chapter-8-picking-a-patent-attorney/

Additionally, Chapter 8 of Patents Demystified discusses the process of finding and choosing the right patent attorney if you want more detail.

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