The small business client provides unique opportunities to integrate the business goals, entity management, and intellectual property plans. A properly designed and registered portfolio of trademarks, patents, and, copyrights managed through the appropriate business entity and contracts can provide the small business the legal advantages that work on their budget and time scale.
The distinguishing service I offer is patent preparation and prosecution both domestic (US) and international.
Before applying for a patent, you should have a clear idea of what you are going to do with it, whether you have developed the idea sufficiently to file an application and whether the costs of filing make business sense. Once you 1) know how you are going to use the patent, 2) can describe the invention sufficiently such that it could be made (in patent parlance, it is enabled) and 3) have enough data to convince yourself that you can access a market for the invention that is large enough to justify the costs and efforts involved, then you are ready to file. Give me a call or send an email and we can get started.
Call me, too, if you need help deciding whether you are ready to file. It is better to talk to me too early than too late. You should definitely call before marketing your idea. A patent application must be filed within one year after selling or even attempting to sell your invention. If a year lapses before you file an application, then your rights to a patent are lost. There are similar risks to losing your rights to a patent based upon publishing the idea or disclosing it publicly. So plan to call a patent attorney early in the process.
I believe clients should know whenever possible, up front, what a service is going to cost. For these reasons, except in rare cases, I charge a flat fee for my services. Fees are determined after an initial consultation where I can assess the amount of work required on your case. Once I quote a cost, that is the amount you will pay for the agreed to services. I assume the risk for underestimating the amount of work. I encourage clients to talk with other potential attorneys and comparison shop for both the quality of service and the cost.
Fees are collected at the time of signing a retainer to do the work. Fees are held in a client trust account until the work or significant portions of the work are completed. If you choose to stop the work at any time, for any reason, the unused portion of the fees will be refunded. I will charge only for the amount of work completed. My charges are estimated at an hourly rate of $300 per hour. One reason fees are collected up front is that I strive to provide excellent service at a low cost. This requires a lean operation where non-value added work is minimized. Billing and collection of unpaid fees is non-value added work. I quote flat rates, assume the risk of underestimating the costs, collect up front, and pass the savings on to my clients in the form of low fees.
Bob, my associate, or I do all the work with few exceptions. Drafting drawings for a design patent almost always requires a professional draftsman. Filing a patent in another country requires representation in that country. I pass any fees for outside help on to the client with no mark-up. I require outside associates to provide an estimate. Most provide flat fees and I am continually looking for new high quality associates to provide excellent service at low cost.
Conveniently located in San Diego, California, we are a Patent preparation and prosecution law firm serving the needs of technology-oriented small businesses. We have the unique combination of small business technology development and intellectual property management and the large business experience including intellectual property strategies for a multi-billion dollar operation.