Disclaimer: The following material is informational and general in nature and not intended to be offered as legal advice. To obtain legal advice an attorney should be consulted with the specific facts of your case.
There are several reasons:
1. We are likely less expensive than other law firms. Most attorneys with my level of experience would bill you at well over $400.00 an hour. My current hourly rate is $240.
2. Your work will always be done by an experienced professional. It is a fact of life that at large law firms, either general practice or intellectual property boutique, in many cases, unless the client is a relatively large one, the work will actually be done by an associate likely recently out of law school. You are, in essence, paying for their on the job training. If you use us, the work will be done only by me.
3. I limit my caseload so that things don’t get too backed up, resulting in your work getting done sooner.
4. In most cases I get to know my clients very well which results in my knowing what the client wants, leading to improved efficiency and satisfaction.
There are several reasons:
1. In some cases, such as high level biotechnology, chemical or computer science you should probably choose a patent attorney having a Ph.D. in those areas.
2. Larger clients may have a caseload that is unrealistically large for a small firm like us.
How long have you been in this business?
In late 1992 I was an out of work commercial pilot/flight instructor. I moved back to the Twin Cities after several years of living in other places and a friend gave me a temporary, part time job doing some intellectual property related things for a small medical device company. Before long, the company got involved in two patent infringement lawsuits, my job became permanent and full time, I became close to prominent attorneys at major law firms and they encouraged me to give up my aviation career, go to law school and become a patent attorney. I took their advice and took the LSAT (law school aptitude test) and did quite well on it. I applied to William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, was admitted and worked full time for four years, going to law school at night from 1995 to 1999. I passed the patent bar exam and the state bar exam and have been practicing intellectual property law ever since. I have done significant amounts of patent and trademark prosecution and client advising and also quite a bit of litigation over the years.
It varies based upon several variables:
1. The overall complexity of the invention. A simple invention with no or few moving parts will cost less than a something more complicated.
2. The greater the number of embodiments (patentese for versions) of the invention will raise the number of hours required to correctly capture the concept as well as the cost.
3. Last minute changes/discoveries made after most of the patent application is written will raise the number of hours.
4. The quality of the disclosure from the inventor has a direct effect on the number of hours required to draft the application. If the information given to me is clear, detailed, concise and complete, my job is much easier and will require fewer hours to finish.
5. Our attorney fees usually vary between about $4500 for a very simple invention to about $12,000 for a more complex invention. In addition there will be draftsman fees (usually $400-$1200 but could be less or more) and filing fees, currently $545 minimum, small entity. Trademarks and Design Patent applications are significantly less expensive.
Yes, but not always. If the number of hours required to draft the application appears to be unpredictable we will sometimes decline to offer a fixed fee rate.
Yes, but not always.
Patent attorneys and patent agents both are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering and take and pass a very difficult examination administered by the USPTO. A patent attorney is additionally an attorney licensed in any jurisdiction in the United States. Patent agents are able to represent clients before the USPTO in patent matters only. A patent attorney is required to represent clients before the courts, give legal advice, write legal opinions and represent clients in trademark matters before the USPTO.
Patent agents, not being attorneys, by definition, are unable to secure malpractice insurance.