What is the difference between a patent specialist and a specialist in soft IP (trademarks, designs, etc.)?

If you are considering legal actions related to intellectual property, it is important to understand the difference between a patent specialist and a specialist in trademarks, designs, etc., otherwise known as a soft IP specialist. Both work with individuals, companies and other entities to ensure and optimize the protection of their intellectual property rights. However, they specialize in different areas of IP law.


Patent specialists assist clients in obtaining, protecting and enforcing their patent rights. They are familiar with the complex regulations surrounding patents and can advise clients on how to comply with the relevant laws. They also assist clients in drafting and filing patent applications, as well as conducting searches to determine the patentability of an invention. These are known as prior art searches, which are also found in other areas of intellectual property law.


Soft IP specialists focus on the broader spectrum of IP law. They provide advice on legal issues related to copyright, trademark, designs, domain names, etc.



They negotiate for their clients and can help them resolve various types of litigation: Internet infringement, subsequent trademark that imitates the one the client has protected. Additionally, they often provide advice on how to protect IP rights and enhance their value (via a trademark license, for example).


Therefore, it is necessary to turn to the right interlocutor; of course, firms may have several departments and be specialists in several fields: patents, software, Internet, trademarks, etc.!


By knowing the qualifications and specific areas of expertise of each specialist, you can be sure to choose the right person to handle a case. However, an IP attorney will of course refer you to one of his colleagues if your IP problem does not fall within his field of expertise.





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We offer our clients a dedicated and unique experience of expertise that is necessary for the exploitation of intangible assets.  We will also endeavor to keep you informed and up-to-date about intellectual property and digital economic issues through our articles and newsletters written by the Dreyfus Legal Team.