Organometallic Patents Benefit from an Expert in Organometallic Chemistry
Inventors of new inorganic or organometallic technology should work with patent professionals with expertise in inorganic or organometallic chemistry. Inventors’ patents will always be limited by the technical expertise of their patent professionals.
For an inorganic or organometallic invention, the patent attorney should have expertise in the relevant technology (inorganic or organometallic chemistry) and chemical patent law.
Patent professionals often play the roll of translator for their clients. We convert the technical scientific language into the language of legal patent documents. Through this process, we draft claims, converting a physical thing into intellectual property. A mediocre understanding of either patent law or the technology undermines the value of the resulting patent application. This ultimately compromises the value of the resulting patent.
Unfortunately, inventive entities are often hasty in preparing patent applications. They wait until the last minute. Then, they find a patent professional who has a “good enough” understanding of the relevant technology. Bad idea. The patent process consumes several years and tens of thousands of dollars. See costs. At the end, the process yields an inventors single greatest asset: a government endorsed monopoly on the technology. If the inventor creates something worthy of such a large expenditure, that inventor should not skimp on finding the right patent professional.
Inorganic and Organometallic Patent Expert
I am a card carrying hard core organometallic chemist. When I refer to myself as an expert in organometallic chemistry, I do not mean that I once used Grubb’s catalyst in my organic synthesis. To the contrary, I spent five years, earning my PhD from Peter T. Wolczanski. See photo below.
I have synthesized novel, highly air-sensitive transition metal compounds, characterized them, and studied their reactivity.
Many chemists limit their studies to organic molecules or a narrow set of application targeted compounds. In the Wolczanski group, we studied the full spectrum of transition metals.
Finding a patent attorney with a PhD in chemistry does not guarantee expertise in any particular discipline. This is particularly important in some niche areas of chemistry because finding the right patent professional can be more difficult. The inventor should take the time to make sure that the patent professional understands the technology.
For the organometallic chemists out there, do not be afraid to ask your lawyer to opine on the point-group symmetry of your compounds. Or ask them to provide a reasonable molecular orbital splitting diagram. Obviously, there are a number of ways to ensure a good fit between the inventor and the patent professional. Don’t settle.