The steps for getting a patent should involve the hiring of a patent attorney.
The criteria for hiring an attorney is no different than hiring anyone else to work for you.
Most patent lawyers practice in the field intellectual property law, which means they also deal with trademarks and copyrights.
The more you know about applying for a patent, and what you can expect for your money, the more satisfied you will likely be with a lawyer's services.
Today, there are also patent software wizards that can help you prepare your application.
Using such tools and educating yourself about the process prepares you for dealing with attorneys.
As an example, let's say you started a construction business renovating houses and you needed an accountant. You would probably want to hire an accountant that was familiar with the construction industry.
When it comes time to file your taxes, the accountant with more experience in your industry will probably do a better job than the one who does not.
Patent lawyers, like accountants, can do their jobs better if their clients have properly prepared documentation. It also saves you money.
Developing your invention and preparing your documentation are the first steps for getting a patent.
To hire a patent attorney, like hiring anyone else, you shop around and interview them. However, many lawyers don't particularly like to hear that you are doing this.
No one likes to know they are being compared to their competition, and you wouldn't say, "Yesterday, the firm of Oats, Buckwheat and Barley told me... and what do you think?
Lawyers don't like to hear that. They may feel you're going around getting free legal advice, or that you may have already entered into a client-attorney relationship with someone else.
However, you do have the right to select the lawyer you want to hire. The only effective way to do that - is to make an appointment and go see them.
As a potential client, anything you discuss with a lawyer is confidential.
Patent attorneys provide "intellectual property services" and are prohibited from providing advice with respect to the commercial potential of your invention or idea.
Once you have summarized what it is you want to patent, you can then ask questions about the steps for getting a patent and an estimate of the costs involved.