How much patent attorneys cost? Houston Patent Law Firm
How much patent attorneys cost
Potential laden inventions necessitate patents so that you can reap maximally before competitors spoil the party. To do this, you have to file an application with the USPTO office and while you can do this as a solo project if you are an inventor who is conversant with the legality of applications, it is highly advisable to get an experienced attorney to guide you. A good attorney can be the difference between a rejected proposal and a successful one.
This warrants the question of how much you can expect to spend on attorney services and that is precisely what this article addresses.
Patent attorneys charge an average rate of $340 per hour subject to terms and conditions which include the nature of your case. Thus, your hourly fee may differ depending on several factors some which are explored below.
The primary factor is the level of expertise you desire. The higher the quality you go for, the more you should expect to pay. It is not unheard of for partners in leading patent firms to charge $500 per hour or more. The average rate for patent lawyers with 7 of experience or more stands at $410.
Those with 3 years of experience, normally junior attorneys, charge between $200 and $350 depending on the firm. A solo practitioner with more experience may be willing to charge less, but finding such an attorney requires effort and patience. Fresh practitioners with below 3 years of experience cost between $150 to $250.
Ideally, the service quality you go for should be determined by the complexity of your invention. Very simple, and moderately simple inventions in the order of toothbrushes, utensils, simple tools and such may be capably handled by an attorney with two years of experience.
For more complex inventions, go for junior associates. And to get the best value for your money, choose those with five or six years of experience. Most junior associates are well equipped to handle the majority of cases, complexity notwithstanding. Partners make sense when the invention in question is extremely delicate and you want to maximize the success chances of the application.
All hours spent discussing business matters are billable. If you find a money hungry attorney, he may bill you to the very last minute. However, other firms inject a bit of competitiveness by charging cumulative filing fees. The fee chart is based on complexity with simple and moderately simple inventions costing between $5,000-$10,000.
Complex creations cost $10,000 and above and software inventions, due to the challenge they pose, cost $16,000 and more. Expect to pay additional search and counsel fees ranging between $1,000-3,000.
Why a search?
A search is one of the first things a lawyer does to ascertain that your invention does not infringe on other patents. The counsel part of the package is simply professional legal opinion on whether you should pursue the patent or not given the nature of your invention and the chances of success. Although you can do a search by yourself, the USPTO recommends an attorney since they know exactly what to look for.
Patent attorneys are expensive by most people’s standards. And taking into consideration the other things that $10,000 can do, it is only logical. The alternative is going the journey alone, but that presents its own set of challenges.
Although the USPTO has a repository of all the resources you need and YouTube and sites such as pandapatent.com have great content that can help you navigate the process, you will have to tackle an extremely steep learning curve. Moreover, there is a high probability that you might make mistakes, and those might instigate additional USPTO fees.
That is not to say that it is not doable. In fact, there are many who have gotten patents this way; the common denominator among them being the simple to slightly complex nature of their inventions. The takeaway, therefore, is that this approach is applicable to inventions that are mildly complex at most.
Why patent legal services are expensive
Patents involve technical subject matters that must be explained definitively in legal terms. As such, in addition to calling for legal prowess, an attorney must have a technical background. Thus, the educational requirements of this legal niche are more pronounced and the rates mirror this.
The complexity of the patent application process is another factor as is the increased demand for good patent attorneys given the blossoming of diverse technological fields.
Getting the best deal
Apart from going for attorneys with a lower rank and less experience, choosing firms based in smaller cities is advised because fees are also influenced by location. Boston, New York and California attorneys charge more than their counterparts in Salt Lake City and Seattle, for instance. Luckily, firms headquartered in lesser cities often have representatives and satellite offices in the bigger cities.