Attorney Fee Structures

Clients are often in a good position to negotiate a favorable fee structure, including discounted hourly rates or flat fees.  This especially holds true for volume services

Hourly rates are often discounted, as much as 25 percent, or more, to earn business in a competitive environment. 

Flat fees can be associated with preparing and filing of patent applications.  Such fees can range from $4,500 USD to $8,500 USD, depending on complexity.  Non-complex patent applications for mechanical inventions are often negotiated at the lower end, about $4,500 USD.  Such applications are typically in the order of about ten pages in length with fewer than four drawing figures

Often a senior attorney will manage a junior attorney to reduce attorney’s fees.  Consider that this may result in double billing for services that are provided on an hourly basis by multiple attorneys

Also, be mindful that fees have to be fair and reasonable to both the client and the attorney.  For example, an unreasonably low fee may encourage an attorney to cut corners, which may yield an inferior quality work product

There are other ways to cut costs when building a patent portfolio.  One way to cut costs is by internally conducting a novelty search, or by conducting a low-cost (i.e., knock-out) novelty search, or by eliminating the search altogether, and wait to see what the Examiner finds when he or she conducts a search at the USPTO. 

Another way to cut costs is by filing streamline patent applications that focus broadly on the novel feature of an invention while minimizing the work effort that goes into the application.  In such cases, upon receipt of a First Office Action from the USPTO, the applicant may determine  whether to abandon or prosecute the application, depending on the scope of protection that may be afforded by the claims

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