Portland Patent Attorney - Protect Your Inventions and Intellectual Property

The patent attorneys at Sierra IP Law can aid you in navigating the complexities of the patent process. We provide tailored support to our client to secure exclusive rights in their innovations and ensure that they make well-informed decisions about pursuing patent protection. We have over 50 years of experience in the area of patent. We leverage our extensive experience to make sure our clients' patent rights are secured and enforced. If you have an invention or new design, connect with our Portland office for a free consultation.

What We Offer

  • Our patent professionals offer comprehensive patent services, including thorough searches, drafting and filing of patent applications, post-filing representation, and patent disputes, with specialized guidance for businesses on intellectual property strategy and cost management.

  • Our patent attorneys provide strategic counsel and handling the patent application drafting and filing, and patent examination before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with experience and skill.

  • The patent attorneys at Sierra IP Law have decades of experience and refined skills in all areas of patent law and practice.

  • We possess broad technical and legal expertise, integrity, strong analytical skills, and their ability to offer client-focused services and strategies aligned with specific industries.

Navigating The Patent Landscape


Patent protection is available for several kinds of innovations. There are utility patents that cover the function of a new patentable invention. There are design patents that cover new ornamental designs. There are also plant patents patents that cover new asexually reproducible varieties. There are many complexities and nuances to each of these kinds of patents. Our patent attorneys understand thoroughly each of these types of patents and how to obtain and enforce them. We leverage insights and expertise to the benefit of our clients and their businesses. We provide strategic counsel based on our deep understanding of industry, IP Law, contracting and licensing, and patent enforcement.

The Role of a Patent Attorney in Protecting Your Invention

A patent attorney is your guide, your strategist, and your advocate in the patent world. They navigate you through the United States Patent and Trademark Office examination and approval process, ensuring your intellectual property rights are secured. This process involves many steps and processes, each of which is critically, including drafting a specification effectively describing the invention, drafting claims that capture the invention in a manner that is both patentable and as broad in scope as possible, properly preparing the patent application for filing, and handling examination of the patent application before the US Patent and Trademark Office.

As part of our role we handle the issues that arise during the examination process, including conflicts with existing patents, managing responses to nonfinal and final office actions, and making sure amendments are made within set deadlines are part of their responsibilities at the US patent and trademark office. Our expertise saves inventors significant time, prevents expensive mistakes, and is essential for successful patent prosecution.

Essential Qualities of an Effective Patent Attorney

Portland Patent Attorneys

Our professionals possess strong backgrounds in science, engineering, and digital technologies, which are vital for grasping the complex technical details of inventions. Their technical backgrounds align with the needs of our clients, providing a broad understanding of technologies in various industries, including mechanical technologies, software and digital technologies, telecommunications, medical technologies, chemical technologies, biotechnology, agricultural technologies, and various consumer products. Our professionals offer this technical knowledge along with:

  • legal expertise, with a proven track record in acquiring patent protection

  • experience with the USPTO’s procedures and regulations

  • dedication to client service

  • understanding and prioritizing client needs

  • a foundation of successful working relationships with clients

  • excellent analytical skills and sound judgment, enabling them to effectively tackle complex legal and technical challenges

  • strong business acumen, crafting intelligent patent strategies that address the client’s broader business objectives.

Services Offered by Our Portland Office

Sierra IP Law offers a wide array of patent services tailored to your needs. From patent filings to negotiation and drafting of licenses, they make the exploitation of an invention smoother for inventors and companies.

Patent Searches and Analysis

It’s important to understand your position before investing time and money in a patent application. Patent attorneys can help by:

  • Conducting thorough patent searches

  • Providing legal opinions on the results

  • Determining whether utility patent and/or design patent protection is available

  • Assessing the viability and freedom of operation for an invention

  • Evaluating the potential to obtain a patent

  • Ensuring the invention doesn’t infringe existing patents

By consulting with a patent attorney, you can make informed decisions about your patent application and protect your intellectual property. Given the complexity of patent law, seeking the expertise of a registered patent attorney is advisable. They play a crucial role in determining an invention’s patentability and assist inventors in navigating through the intricacies of filing a patent application.

Our patent attorneys also provide valuable services to strengthen your IP position, such as competitive patent analysis and continual technical analysis, including due diligence and defense against infringement claims. While preliminary patent searches using freely available resources can help identify similar patents, interpreting the complex results often requires the expertise of a patent attorney.

Drafting and Filing Patent Applications with the USPTO

After establishing the viability of your invention, the subsequent step involves drafting and filing your patent application and establishing patent pending status. The next step is the determination of what kind of patent filing to pursue. There are multiple options for pursuing patent rights in a new innovation. For example, you must consider whether the invention may still undergo changes and further development. If you have an invention, but are still iterating and developing the technology, it is likely that a provisional application would be a good approach. A provisional application establishes a priority date with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, giving you priority over any later applicants. However, the provisional application is not examined by the USPTO. Instead, it acts as a placed holder for a non-provisional application, which must be filed within 12 months of the provisional filing date. Those twelve months may be used to further develop features of and/or refine the technology. Further provisional applications may be filed during the 12-month period as new features or functions are added. The US patent system is a first-to-file system, meaning that it does not matter who was the first to invent something. What matters is who has the patent application with the earlier filing date. Once a patent application is filed, the invention becomes patent pending.

When considering whether to pursue patent protection, one should also consider whether foreign patents are needed. Our patent attorneys are familiar with both US and foreign patent filings. We routinely handle foreign utility patent filing through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and directly in foreign countries through our international network of foreign associate attorneys. We also regularly file foreign design patent applications through the Hague System (the International Design Patent System).

Prosecuting Patent Applications before the USPTO

Our patent attorneys handle the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, ensuring you secure your rights. They are well-versed in the patent process, including preparation and filing of applications, managing office actions or prosecution, and devising strategies for global patent protection. Once an application is filed, the patent office compares each patent claim in the patent application to prior patents, applications, and other public disclosures ("prior art") and may issue one or more office actions that point out patentability issues that the examiner believes would preclude patentability. The attorneys at Sierra IP Law have decades of experience and expertise in handling office actions. We work to find the optimal response strategies to provide the broadest patent coverage available to the client.

Post-Filing Representation and Litigation Support

Securing patents provides valuable intellectual property, an asset, and protection for an invention. What follows is enforcing your patents and protecting your business from the damages that result from infringement. Our attorneys provide thorough legal support during infringement and other patent litigation cases.

Their expertise also covers:

  • Risk assessment of patent infringement by providing non-infringement opinions

  • Offering invalidity opinions to gauge the enforceability of patents or the potential to invalidate existing ones

  • Playing a crucial role in patent assertion strategies, licensing, and thorough analysis for infringement and invalidity assessments.

Intellectual Property Strategy for Businesses

Portland Patent Attorneys

A robust intellectual property strategy for small and large businesses alike should include:

  • Meticulous patent portfolio management

  • Due diligence

  • Acquisition and sale services

  • Strategic portfolio development

  • Personalized prosecution approach based on business strategy and objectives

Intellectual property should align with the company’s long-term business plans. Beyond patents, small businesses must consider the following strategies:

  • Determining whether to seek patents or maintain intellectual property as trade secrets

  • Obtaining litigation support for intellectual property disputes

  • Ensuring proper agreements with vendors and contractors that contribute to the development of a company's technology

  • Protecting other intellectual property rights, including trademarks and copyrights

These strategies are critical for maintaining ownership and global protection of intellectual assets, especially when it comes to a new and useful process.

Maintaining Your Utility Patents

Maintaining your patent is essential once you have secured it. For a utility patent, the USPTO requires three maintenance fees at 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years post-issuance to keep a utility patent in force. Our patent attorneys manage the utility patent lifecycle, ensuring that these maintenance fees are paid on time. Design patents do not require maintenance fees.

Aside from filing fee payments, keeping a watchful eye on patent rights is critical to preserve the value of patents and support the enforcement and defense of these rights. Our patent attorneys provide services can provide monitoring services for a client's competitors and provide reports on product and patent activities, which allow the client to stay informed about potential patent infringements.

Steps to Take Before Meeting Consulting with a Patent Attorney

Laying some groundwork before meeting with a patent attorney can help you maximize your consultation. Start by compiling all relevant background information, including the history and the specific problem your invention addresses. Draft a timeline capturing the key development stages of your invention to share with the attorney.

To prepare for your invention disclosure, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the unique aspects of your claimed invention and how it differentiates from existing products or technologies.

  2. Prepare a clear, coherent explanation of your invention.

  3. Use visual aids such as diagrams or pictures for explanations, especially for mechanical inventions.

Prepare a list of questions for the attorney to maximize the productivity of your consultation, and plan to take detailed notes during the meeting to keep track of discussions and any additional requirements for the patenting process. Familiarize yourself with the attorney’s billing practices, such as fixed-fee services, to manage your budget effectively.


The patent attorneys at Sierra IP Law guide their clients through the patent landscape, including the patent application process, managing their patent portfolios, and providing comprehensive legal support in disputes. Their technical expertise and legal proficiency make them an invaluable asset to innovative entrepreneurs and companies.

Whether you’re an individual inventor or a business owner, it’s essential to have a robust intellectual property strategy, meticulous patent portfolio management, and a clear understanding of your patent rights. Remember, securing intellectual property rights is more than a legal formality; it’s a strategic move to protect your invention, your investment, and your future. Choose your patent attorney wisely and protect your innovation with confidence. Contact our Portland office to schedule a consultation with one of our patent attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a patent attorney the same as a lawyer?

Yes, a patent attorney is a type of lawyer with specialized expertise in intellectual property law and is fully qualified and licensed to practice law, as well as being registered to practice before the United States Patent Bar.

What is the difference between a patent agent and a patent attorney?

A patent attorney has a legal background and can provide legal advice, while a patent agent cannot offer legal advice as they are not licensed attorneys. This difference is important when seeking advice on patent licensing or infringement.

What exactly does a patent lawyer do?

A patent lawyer helps inventors protect their intellectual property by providing guidance on patent strength and maximizing the benefit of their inventions. They are also experts in preparing and filing patent applications, and representing clients in patent-related legal matters such as infringement and licensing.

Patent Attorney

Free Consultation with an experienced Intellectual Property Lawyer

    Client Review

    "Partnering with Mark Miller at Sierra IP Law is one of the smartest choices I could have made in the world of bringing a new invention to market. He is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and professional. I could never have conceived of the areas he has advised me on and covered in attempting to write a patent on my own. He and his team have not only insured that my Intellectual Property Rights are well protected, but they have advised and recommended additional protections that I could not have thought of otherwise. I highly recommend Sierra IP Law to anyone looking for a strong and trustworthy legal partner."
    Fraser M.
    Client Review

    Sierra IP Law, PC - Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

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