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How do I list the patents written by a patent attorney?

How can I find a list of patents that a patent attorney wrote?

~ Arizona

Researching your patent attorney's past work is a good idea. You can find a list of previous patents written by the attorney by searching a patent database. Also, you can email the patent attorney and ask for a list. In some cases, attorneys may not provide a list. Even though the patent documents are public, that does not mean that the patents are easy to find. Some states may consider providing a client's public documents (without permission from the client) a violation of the attorney's duty to confidentiality (because the documents are otherwise difficult to find).

Searching Patent Attorney by name and address.

The easiest way to search is Google Patents by attorney name. Here is an example search:

However, Google Patent is not always as current as the US Patent Office databases. To search the US Patent Office databases you have to perform two queries, one for Patent Publications and one for Utility Patents:

If the attorney that you are searching about has a name that is not unique (like Smith or Jones), then you can include a portion of the attorney's street address or city name in the search. However, mailing address can change over time, of course.

What if I do not find anything

If you do not find very much or anything at all, that does not mean that the attorney did not write any patents. It means that the attorney's name was not included on the published patent or patent grant. The patent attorney names listed on the patent are the patent attorneys of record when the patent if finally granted, which is not always the same as the patent attorney the wrote the application.

For example, some law firms prefer to put the names of only senior attorneys on the patents (rather than the junior attorneys that did the actual writing). Sometimes, a patent attorney's name will appear on a patent, but the patent attorney did not write the patent, for example, they patent attorney could have taken over from another attorney or from an inventor the filed pro se.

Finally, many small businesses will choose to keep their patent applications secret until the patent is granted. A secret patent application is not required to be published until the patent is actually granted. So, many of these patents will never be available to the public.

Good luck researching your patent attorney.

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