Rates

Free initial consultation

Please book your initial consultation at the appointment calendar. The purpose of this first meeting is to present the basics of your case, see if I can help you, and discuss the terms of working together. This is not a time for legal services. While I can occasionally answer all of a client’s questions in half an hour, this meeting is primarily to determine whether we want to form a business relationship. All discussions are confidential, and I don’t sign NDA’s.

Only your VERY FIRST consultation is free.  After that, please be clear that all correspondence with me, whether it be a reserved consultation, a phone call, or email, is billed by the 1/4 hour.

Ballpark figures for most common projects

  • The average utility patent application will cost you $4,000 – 6,000.  This includes legal fees, illustrations, and USPTO filing fees.
  • Since a patent is a big undertaking, I usually contract the first phase separately. This is the step commonly called an “opinion letter” or “prior art search”. I prefer the term “Analysis of Patentability and Freedom to Operate.” This presents my opinion about whether you are free to make, sell, import, and / or patent your invention, on a feature-by-feature level. I average 6 – 10 billable hours (let’s say $1,500).  Sometimes the project ends here, preventing unnecessary costs further down the line.  If I find favorable results, I finish writing the patent application built around the APFO.
  • A design patent costs about half as much as a utility patent.
  • Provisional applications are highly variable / individualized, so I can’t give you a quote before the consultation. A provisional app. can range from virtually no cost (if you do all the work yourself) to about half the cost of a non-provisional application (if you want it done properly). Keep in mind that a provisional application must still be followed up by a non-provisional application within a year, so the total cost could well be higher if you follow this route.
  • A simple trademark application will cost you $500 – 1,000 including filing fees.  More involved applications can be twice as high.
  • Your total lifetime cost will be about twice the cost of your initial application, spread out over a year to a decade.

Rates as of 6/01/20:  $200 – 250 / hr

  • I cost about half as much as prestigious firms and twice as much as paralegal / inventor-support services. Since I am neither an industry leader nor a price leader, I rely on customer satisfaction and positive reviews to get business.
  • Unless contracted otherwise, I bill all of my time hourly, rounded to the 1/4 hr, with a two-hour minimum. 
  • The base rate is $250 / hr without pre-payment or credit card pre-authorization.  Maximum three hours service will be provided before payment is due.
  • The reward rate is $200 / hr with pre-payment or credit card pre-authorization. I recommend leaving your credit card information on file to obviate a retainer and to ensure the smoothest service. The credit card must not be expiring while service is in progress. Credit card numbers are vaulted in a PCI-DSS-compliant encrypted system. You may alternatively make pre-payment of at least 150% of the quoted estimate for authorized charges.
  • If I have your credit card information vaulted, then I will send you a statement and charge the card weekly.
  • In the event that your credit card expires or declines, we will notify you and give you a week to provide payment or a new card. After a week, any unpaid balance will revert to the base rate.
  • If you must finance the charges, we can spread out your credit card payments over time for a finance fee (not past your credit card expiration).
  • I only want clients who are comfortable with the legal fees. If the cost of service will stress you out, you will do us both a favor by working with a low-cost paralegal or inventor-support service instead. (Try LegalZoom.com, or Google “Inventor Help” and you will have many to choose from).

Secretarial services are billed at a 50% discount. This includes services that do not require the skills or a license necessary to practice law or patent prosecution, such as:

  • Q&A about scheduling and billing
  • Mailings
  • Managing your docket and case files
  • Transit

Notes

  • Correspondence with me, including phone calls and emails, is billed by the 1/4 hr.  I grant a free weekly 1/4 hr to clients who leave a deposit or credit card pre-authorization.
  • I charge a 25% “expedite” fee to prioritize your case over others or to meet short-term deadlines, generally less than a month.  (Don’t wait 11 months before completing your non-provisional applications!!!  Grrr … )
  • Estimates / flat fees:  Most of my matters are close-ended, with a particular end goal.  When I assess each matter, I will provide you with an estimated range of likely hours.
  • If you prefer a flat fee for a project exceeding $1,000, it will be set at 25% above the maximum likely estimate.  Example:  A client requests a utility patent prior art search, and I provide a likely estimate of $500 – 1,000.  The client would prefer a flat fee, which I quote at $1,250.  This would guarantee full and thorough completion of the project as contracted, however long it takes me.
  • Other options:
    • Hourly billing with a cap (which I set at 50% above the maximum quoted estimate)
    • Limited-representation flat fee (you name your price below my quote, and I will meet it though it may mean cutting corners on the service)
  • I do not offer written contracts or fee negotiations for projects under $1,000.

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