Intellectual Property Patent U.S. Patent

Why getting patent so expensive?

It doesn’t have to be so expensive.

It’s just that the law firms, boutiques, or their likes practicing patent law are focused on serving bigger mostly corporate clients rather than individual inventors.

When it comes to an invention which is more about an idea and less about technology, you don’t need PhDs spending hours reviewing the art let alone attorneys.

In addition, firms charge more money per hour for small clients than those bigger corporate accounts that generate vast volumes. You can’t really blame them as that’s how business works, but it’s unfortunate that there are few options for individuals and small businesses.

There are alternative, smarter ways to work with attorneys thanks to the internet.

It won’t be easy to find them because the internet search usually shows heavily advertised service first, which can be cheap but not necessarily a better deal. At all times, make sure that you’re working with a patent attorney/agent who’s registered with the USPTO.

Intellectual Property Patent U.S. Patent

How to get a patent without costing a fortune?

How can IPfever reduce the cost of patent? We set up simple rules: (1) you do your own homework; (2) attorneys work online; and (3) we make sure the attorneys fees are proportional to what you get.

First, you do your own homework.

If you just ignore an issue because it’s too much to deal with yourself, nothing ever changes. Most small businesses don’t have a legal counsel of their own, meaning you probably need to spend extra money to work on IP issues. This is a mishap that can be avoided by educating yourself. In fact, basics of patent law can be understood within a reasonable time as long as you know where to look.

Second, attorneys work online.

This is an overly simple statement of what actually needs to be done. We’re talking about reducing unnecessary cost on lawyer’s part. Why do you need a fancy office space in downtown when the government agency you’re dealing with is not even in town?

When a patent research is virtually all about online databases, you don’t want to pay law firm’s researchers, administrative clerks and paralegals for an initial review of your company’s patent portfolio. It is an instant impression of your attorney that you want the most when you ask a lawyer if your business needs a patent. Unfortunately, a lawyer’s typical hourly charge include every help listed above.

Lastly, IPfever makes sure you get what you paid for.

It is unfortunate that the most businesses and individuals can’t afford a lawyer. What about a free initial consultation? We all know free stuff can be poisonous. When an attorney greets a free client, what would be first in his or her mind? He or she wants your business! A need for legal service will be emphasized, and a quick and easy solution is disfavored over conservative and costly measures.

IPfever wants to solve this problem with fairness in mind. If you hard press lawyers to give out more free stuff, it might good in the beginning but won’t last long. Nonetheless, it’s plausible that you can set up a fair ground where you pay for actual value of lawyer’s service. This is awesome not only for clients but also for lawyers who has a good legal mind but lacks marketing skills.

A fair ground starts with a better understanding.

If you are retaining an attorney because you don’t know a thing about the law, then you’re like asking a mechanic to take care of your car with a promise to pay whatever is done.

Read more posts written by professionals.

Go back to see other topics in the Patent Basics.

Intellectual Property Patent patent utilization

Value of a patent: the cost-benefit analysis

Will your patent justify your time and money?

This is where you can benefit from a consultation to a patent attorney who understands your technology and has your best interest in mind.

The truth is virtually anything can be patented … if you don’t mind what is claimed in the patent.

In other words, you sufficiently narrow the scope of your claims to meet the requirements of the patent issuance, and the grant of patent is granted. Unfortunately, this is what you likely get from a cheap flat-fee patent prosecution services.

The quality of patent matters.

When the scope of patent claims is too narrow, you won’t get much from the patent. Let’s say you “discovered” a new chemical. When this chemical is added to a fuel, the efficiency of any internal combustion engine can be increased by more than 50 percent. Now, you’ve got to patent it.

You can patent a fuel additive containing the chemical.

Well, that is too narrow because it would not prevent others from selling fuels (not a fuel additive) containing the chemical. It seems you simply handed over the technology to the energy companies as no one would buy your patented fuel additive.

Then, should you claim the chemical itself?

Not really. When the chemical is not artificial, which is the case here because we assumed that it was “discovered” (not synthesized), it is not a patentable subject.

Let’s talk about the cost.

The government fees can start from a couple hundreds (as you might get discount for being a small business) to thousands of dollars. In fact, it depends on various factors like the number of claims and the length of the application.

Now the patent practitioner’s fees

I don’t recommend a flat fee arrangement unless you know what you’re doing. In other words, you should have sufficient knowledge to meaningfully get involved in the prosecution. Hourly charges vary widely (i.e. from hundreds to more than a thousand), and also the time. Therefore, you should find one you can trust and talk about the cost in advance.

What good comes with the patent application?

In the past, the customers were intrigued by the mere fact that it’s “patent pending,” but I don’t think that still works.

  1. You will thwart competitors from copying your invention although they can be quick to design around your invention (like selling fuels instead of additives).
  2. You will also prevent others from patenting the same technology.
  3. As you do a preliminary work (like clearance search), you will better understand the technology and the market.
  4. Don’t forget the value of intellectual property as an asset. When you’re selling your business, a mere know-how isn’t exactly same as the patent, which is a property right.
  5. If others are interested in licensing your tech, you can also expect a royalty.