According to WIPO Handbook, patent agents are usually professionals trained in the field of science and technology to prepare patent specifications. Patent specifications define the scope of the invention. It is a legal document as comprehensive as a sales and purchase agreement when you buy a house. However, when the Patent Act is introduced, Malaysia has very few persons trained as a patent agent. Lawyers were engaged as patent agents and the practice is continued until today. Patent agents need to pass a patent agent examination set by MYIPO.
The early batch of scientist trained were chemist. A chemist is desirable to prepare specification for any field of technology due to its versatile background. Now, most of the genuine patent agents have at least a chemist to prepare patent specification. However, with the robust advancement of technology, professionals from other science background is needed to prepare specification. Consider the field of your invention. Who do you think is more suitable to prepare your invention? A physicist, chemist, biologist or lawyer?
Patent lawyer refers to a person who can represent clients in court. They have passed the Malaysia bar exam. They are multi-purpose lawyer who practice in various field of law or specialised in IP. Usually lawyers who choose to specialise in IP take the Malaysia Patent Agent examination.