Intellectual property law firms and attorneys
In Norway you are not obliged to be represented by any attorney. However, it is strongly recommended to employ a skilled patent attorney at an intellectual property law form to file a proper application written in accordance with the official regulations and formulated to give you the best possible scope of protection. The law firms also make sure that you do not fail to meet the strict deadlines within this field. The law firms also have an international network to assist you in patenting abroad.
A patent application is a legal document having one substantial objective, i.e., to define the limits for what the competitors shall stay away from. This is expressed by a distinct style of formulation and wording. An attorney will prepare the application on basis on the information submitted by the inventor, and the form of technical juridical language required by the patent system. The attorney should also sometimes enlarge the ingenuity of the inventor with regard to alternative embodiments in addition to the single optimum one to be realized. An attorney is supposed to initiate the thought process which anticipates all possible variants of solutions which the competitors are expected to search for when the patent eventually is there. When reviewing an application draft from an IP law firm/patent agency, the following points can be useful:
- Make sure that all connections are described correctly. The patent agent may have misinterpreted a functional relationship or a structure. Take another turn by your own and try to find other ways to reach the target.
- Accept that the patent agent tries to outline alternative solutions.
- Check that the drawings are not down-scaled construction drawings.
- Check that patent claim 1 does not contain superfluous features or information. Optional details can be included in the remaining or dependent claims.
- Accept that the claims contain certain generic terms and designations, such as “means”, “device”, “apparatus” or “module”. The purpose is to provide you as a patentee with the broadest possible protection against imitations.
- Make an extra discussion with the patent agent than letting something through something you are dissatisfied with.
The first reaction from the Norwegian Patent Office is usually issued 4 – 6 months after filing. This reaction will in most cases contain a reference to 1 – 5 patent publications which represent similar solutions, and may be negative. When you use a patent agent or IP law firm, the communication is submitted via the patent agency, and the patent agent will review the communication from the Patent Office and add his/hers comments and possibly suggest how to reply.