How much patent attorneys charge?
How much patent attorneys charge?
Patent attorneys earn an average of $137,250 annually, and as you might expect, their salaries are shouldered by their clientele. Currently, patent attorneys charge an average of $340 per hour, but the figure is subject to many factors which will be discussed below.
The charges are based on billable hours which are the hours spent discussing business matters. If you land an unscrupulous lawyer, it is possible that he/she might extend the billable hours to make more money.
Charges based on position
If you want the very best, you will have to spend more since partners, who are considered the most skilled and experienced in the business charge an average of $410 per hour. Overall, the rates range from $300 to $550 per hour. Expect the same rates for practitioners with an experience of seven or more years.
Junior attorneys with an experience of 3 or more years charge between $200 to $350 while fresh lawyers with less than three years’ experience charge between $150 to $250. You will have a hard time locating a capable lawyer willing to charge less than $150 unless as a favor.
The geography aspect
The fees charged vary from region to region. This is because regional economies are unique. The living cost in Manhattan, for example, cannot be compared to the cost of living in a small town in a farming state. Expect the highest fees in throbbing metropolitan areas.
City-wise, New York, and Boston lead the pack. You will be lucky to find good services below $350 per hour. California follows at around $330 per hour. Other major metropolitan areas are generally in the $300-$400 range. Do not be surprised if you get a quote of over $800.
Capitalize on small-city firms
It makes sense, therefore, to source for legal services from firms based in smaller cities. Though it will be more hassle on your part, you can be confident that you will get better services and more value for money at any price point than you would have gotten at a major city law firm. Law firms in smaller cities know this, and for this reason, they have extended their marketing tentacles, making it easier for you to locate them. Some even have satellite offices in bigger cities.
The type of firm
The more prestigious the company, and the better the firm’s track record, the more they are likely to charge. The same is so in all major industries and this, therefore, does not come as a surprise.
Costing based on types of patent
Some firms charge based on patent type. This makes sense since some patents call for more input and technical know-how than others. Below are the cost estimates that you can expect for different patents.
For very simple inventions, filing fees range from $5,000 to $7,000. These inventions include things like ice cube trays, switches, and clips.
Relatively simple inventions such as board games, animal leashes, brushes, and the like come in second costing anywhere between $7,000 and $8,500. Minimally complex inventions which are mostly powered hand tools cost between $8,500 to $10,000 with moderately complex inventions such as cell phones, solar panels, and ride-on lawn mowers costing between $10,000 and 12,000.
Relatively complex innovations cost $12,000-14,000 and highly complex gadgets involving telecommunications and software cost 14,000 and above.
Since the level of detail determines the cost, some decide to minimize the details to make the process more affordable. This is an ill-advised move since it reduces the success chances of the application. In case the application is successful, the resultant patent will be weak, and it may quickly lose meaning if competitors find an inconsequential technicality that they can exploit.
Why the patent process is expensive
The USPTO runs solely on collected fees making it the only federal agency that does not run on tax dollars. Running such an agency is costly and this cost is shouldered by patent applicants. Coupled with the fact that the process is taxing and sector players require advanced education and training, it makes sense that the process would be costly. The perceived business potential tied to patents is also another reason.
Where expensive firms get their business
Not many inventors can easily afford the high sums charged which begs the question: where do patent law firms that charge high rates get enough business to stay afloat?
Companies like Microsoft, Google, and other tech behemoths generate hundreds of patentable material annually. Since these companies have the financial muscle, they do not mind paying top dollar in legal fees to get patents that have million/billion-dollar potential.
Compounded with the fact that most firms slightly dislike average inventors since they offer the biggest workload yet they are the likeliest to struggle to pay up; such firms, when they manage to land big clients, revise their rates to politely price out average inventors.
While patent services are indeed expensive, with the right strategy and effort, you can get quality services at a reasonable rate. To get more tips on how you can get the best value for money, explore pandapatent.com.