I switched patent attorneys when my first attorney failed to pay a maintenance fee even though I paid him the money for the fee. (Not only that, but sent in the wrong forms, and paid the amounts for different fees.) I used the US Patent Office's Public PAIR website to discover his errors. He did not even tell me about his errors!
When I looked up other patent applications made by this attorney, I discovered he had a habit of making mistakes and then charging his clients for the cost of fixing his own mistakes. That's not only unprofessional, but is considered unethical in many countries and US states. (Why should I pay to fix somebody else's mistake? And when an attorney charges his clients to fix his own mistakes, he has a conflict of interest.)
Here are some things you should consider when you switch attorneys.
- Will your old attorney charge you to send copies of your paperwork
to your new attorney? (Some do and some don't.)
- Do you have any fees you must pay or documents you must send to the patent office while your patent application is transferred from one attorney to another?
- Do you need to file an ethics complaint with the US PTO or your
State Bar against your old attorney? (Filing an ethics complaint may make your old attorney far less cooperative in transferring your case to another attorney.)