How Much is Patent Attorney Fees? 20 Tips to Find a Patent Lawyer
How Much is Patent Attorney Fees? 20 Tips to Find a Patent Lawyer
Although anyone can file for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, experts, including those over at runrex.com recommend that you hire a patent attorney for the process given its complexities. If you are looking to find a patent lawyer and are wondering how much a patent attorney costs, then you are in the right place as this article will look to break down the costs involved as well as highlight several tips that will help you save costs.
Patent attorneys versus patent agents
When it comes to discussing the breakdown of patent attorney fees, it is important to point out that costs vary according to if you are being represented by a patent attorney or a patent agent. Patent agents, although trained to do all of the same work done by patent attorneys when it comes to filing a patent as discussed over at guttulus.com, are not qualified to practice law, which means that they can’t litigate in federal courts. This means that they are substantially less expensive than patent attorneys, evidenced in the fact that they charge about $100 to $200 per hour as compared to patent attorney fees which average about $300 to $400 per hour.
One factor that will govern how much you will pay in patent attorney fees is the attorney’s qualifications. As outlined over at runrex.com, some patent attorneys have got dual specialties as well as extensive education in related fields making them not only better placed to represent particular companies such as tech startups, but also more expensive.
This is yet another factor that will also govern how much you will pay for patent attorney fees as per the gurus over at guttulus.com. This is because certain patent attorneys specialize and work primarily with companies from specific industries, like say tech companies, and as such usually charge more in patent attorney fees.
Large firm versus independent practitioner
While most large firms are full service, tend to have experienced patent attorneys, and carry more clout if you have to go to court, they are also more expensive as compared to independent practitioners, which is another factor that may affect patent attorney fees.
The location where the patent attorney practiced also governs how much you will pay for patent attorney fees. For example, if you are looking for a highly-rated and experienced attorney at a reputable firm, you can expect to pay rates of about $275 to $400 per hour if they practice outside a major metropolitan area, but about $400 to $800 per hour if they practice in a major metropolitan area like New York City.
Cost of a patent search
When it comes to breaking down the various costs when it comes to the filing of a patent, the first aspect we are going to look at is the cost of conducting a patent search. Here, it is recommended that you do your own patent search, as explained over at runrex.com. However, if you feel like you want to obtain a professional patent search, the cost is usually about $500 to $1,000, depending on how detailed you the search to be.
Additionally, as is revealed in discussions over at guttulus.com, if you have to carry out both the U.S. and an international patent search, then you will have to pay more as can be expected. The cost of a patent search is however usually fixed and non-negotiable.
Cost of patentability opinion
Once you receive your patent search, your patent attorney will review it and issue what is referred to as a patentability opinion, which can either be in writing or verbal. According to the experts over at runrex.com, the price of a patentability opinion will depend on the complexity of the prior art found as well as the volume of the prior art found. A low range ballpark here is about $1,000.
Attorney fees without patentability opinion
If you are looking for a patent lawyer who will only answer your questions about your patent search without providing a patentability opinion, then the patent attorney fees will be about $250 to $500 for the consultation.
Fess for drafting and filing a nonprovisional patent application
A nonprovisional patent application, also known as a basic utility patent application usually costs about $5,000 to $15,000 in patent attorney fees depending on the complexity involved.
Fees for drafting and filing a provisional patent application
On the other hand, as explained over at guttulus.com, a provisional patent is usually cheaper and can cost about $1,000 to $3,500 in attorney fees. Once you file a provisional patent application, you are usually given one year to file for a nonprovisional patent.
Part of the patent attorney fees is the fees charged by patent lawyers for additional work, as is covered in detail over at runrex.com. These fees usually include the fees like the examination fee, USPTO filing fees, and many others, and can rise to about $200 per hour.
Number of office actions
It is also worth pointing out that how much you will pay for patent attorney fees will also be governed by the number of office actions taken. As is revealed over at guttulus.com, an average patent action takes about 4.32 office actions for it to be allowed. The more office actions your application requires, the more you will pay in attorney fees.
Also, it is worth pointing out that for every 2 office actions, you will incur a Request for Continued Examination, RCE, fee, which is usually about $800 to $ 1,600, which will also add to the patent attorney fees you will have to pay.
Costs of a pre-appeal conference
Sometimes you may require a pre-appeal conference when filing for a patent, and the cost of this is usually the same as that of one office action response. Most patent lawyers use a pre-appeal conference at least one time per case, which usually adds about $800 to the attorney fees.
Costs of the full appeal
While rare, occurring in about 12% of all cases, there is also a possibility that you may require a full appeal to move your case towards allowance. This can get pretty expensive, with costs rocketing up to about $10,500 as revealed over at runrex.com.
You will also have to pay maintenance fees every 3 years, which are usually about $980 on average. These fees, however, depend on the one’s patent and the structure of their entity, as there are cases where maintenance fees can cost as little as $400 or as much as $7,500 as is explained over at guttulus.com.
How to reduce costs
Find the right patent attorney
We are going to highlight some of the tips that will help you reduce your patent attorney costs. The first tip here is making sure that you choose the right patent attorney for your case. According to the gurus over at runrex.com, finding a patent attorney who is experienced in your field will help you save not only on time but also on costs.
Don’t restrict yourself by physical location
As already mentioned earlier, attorneys in major metropolitan areas charge higher patent attorney fees due to the higher overheads that come with operating in major cities. Given that patent law is federal, if you want to keep your patent attorney fees down, you might want to consider looking for a patent attorney in a smaller city. You don’t even have to sit down with your patent attorney face-to-face. In most cases, patent attorneys on the West Coast and East Coast are usually more expensive than those in the Midwest.
Get everything in writing
Another tip that will help you manage your patent attorney fees is making sure that you understand how your patent attorney usually bills clients. Do they charge per hour or require to be paid upfront? Make sure that you put everything in writing, all the bills and charges, and this way, you will avoid being overcharged.