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A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. For example, the patent attorney can not only file an application for a new patent but as well has an opportunity to stop the patent office from giving the patent to somebody else. The term is used differently in different countries, and thus may or may not require the same legal qualifications as a general legal practitioner (i.e., a lawyer).
The definitions of patent agent and patent lawyer are used in some parts of jurisdictions. In some cases, the terms are interchangeable. Furthermore, in other countries, a patent lawyer should be qualified as a lawyer.