Americans are very creative people. The number of patent applications filed each year doubled from 1998 to 2010 to reach more than 520,000. At the same time, being a very litigious society, the average number of patent lawsuits filed each year jumped from 500 every year to almost 3,000 over the past two decades. If you have invented an awesome new product, you may not think you need an attorney but you should investigate your options for patent attorney services.
Tips to Saving Money on Patent Attorney Services:
- Your lawyer works for you, not the other way around. You hire your patent lawyer. They do not hire you. When you are looking at different patent attorney services, you need to get bids for the work, just like you would if you were hiring any other kind of contractor. You should go over the specifics of what you will expect and what they will deliver. You need to agree to a fee structure. It is very easy for attorney fees to spiral out of control.
- Get referrals from your friends and relatives. Hands down, the best way to get decent goods and services is to get a personal recommendation from someone you know and trust. You can also look through the patents that the attorney has gotten through. You would be better serviced by a lawyer who is familiar with your industry and the kind of technology that you use. This is not always 100% needed but it never hurts to have them really understand what you do and what you have created. If they really get what you are trying to do, they may have ideas for ways to expand its use. The amount of experience in your industry needed to get your patent is somewhat dependent on how complicated your invention is.
- You do not have to go with someone local. Patent and trademark law is very specific but not to geography. You need the patent attorney services firm to be experienced in patent law but they do not need to be in the same city as you. You may find a great lawyer in a city far away, that is ok. You just need to be able to communicate with them. You will probably pay less if you go with a patent lawyer who is not based in New York or Los Angeles, for example.
- Get several bids. Talk to at least a few patent attorney services before settling on one. It is also a good idea to make them submit to you something in writing so you can use that to compare the different bids and options that you have available to you.
- Do not assume anything, make sure you get it in writing. You have met the patent attorney and you like them. They have a ton of experience in the kind of work you do and you are confident they will get your patent application approved. You are ok with the fee structure. All seems great. You trust them so do you really need to get it in writing. Absolutely. It protects both you and the patent attorney services firm. If you end up being overcharged, you will have more recourse if you have everything in writing.
- Do some research on your own. The more you know about the patent process, the better able you will be to decide what patent attorney services firm is the best for you. At the very least, this will give you an idea of what questions you need to ask the different law firms you talk to. Plus, you will be in a better position to make an educated decision about what lawyer to hire.
- Record your conversations with your lawyer.andnbsp;When you have your meetings with your patent attorney, you may want to record them. If you have questions about the process, they may have been covered in the meeting but sometimes the process is overwhelming. Make sure your lawyer is ok with this before you do it (it is also illegal in many states to record someone without their knowledge).
These tips should help you get the patent lawyer you need and can afford.