The Best Defense


It's an unfortunate fact that business today is fraught with legal potholes. It's therefore a good idea to find an attorneys you can turn to when needed. In the beginning, look for someone skilled in the art of patent protection. Known as intellectual property attorneys, this type of legal advisor can assist you, step by step, with the patent and trademark filing processes, patent searches, patent law issues and more. An attorney can also act as your intermediary, speaking with third parties for you, if you are unable or unwilling to do so.

To find a reputable intellectual property attorney, get a referral or contact the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and ask about an attorney's status. The PTO's office of Enrollment and Discipline provides information about the status of licensed patent agents (attorneys registered to practice before the PTO). Contact the PTO at (800) 786-9199 or visit its Web site at

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This article was originally published in the February 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Best Defense.

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