The patent process is difficult. There are things inventors can do to make the process easier. To best help you, we need certain things from you, and these things are not easy to explain. This video tries to lay it out, using terms any inventor can understand.
Get a rough idea of what this process will cost you, and how long it will take.
Patents take a long time, and the costs continue to accrue long after filing. Make sure to be fully aware of this.
Electronic payments are de rigueur at this law firm.
Patents are not easy, and there are tons of ways to waste money and make mistakes. We get patents quickly, at reduced expense, yet without surrendering any scope of protection.
Provisional patent application: typically $1600-$2800 (includes filing fee)
Utility patent application: typically $4500-$6500 (includes filing fee)
Remember that with Utility patent applications, on-going expenses occur. Utility patent applications can be a considerable cash-drain, even after paying the filing fees.
Application for Federal Trademark Registration: $1300 flat fee (includes $275 Filing Fee), managing the application through 2 Office Actions. If more than 2 Office Actions are needed, the application is likely in serious trouble and will likely require other steps.
Also, these rates apply to "Actual Use" trademark filings only. "Intent to Use" (ITU) have a different fee scale and different processing. This law firm tries to avoid filing ITU TM applications, although sometimes they are necessary.
The following principles are non-negotiable with this law firm. We have to work this way, its the only way we can survive.
1) we work via e-mail, text, and cloud. We usually need inventors to make a video of the invention, and store that video in the cloud. We do not and can not do patent processing via phone calls. Although phone calls are sometimes necessary, in a patent context most often they are not helpful. The exchange of information in the patent process cannot be done over the phone. There are too many documents, URLs, video-data, digital photos, drawings, art, and visual-only features that are a necessary part of the patent process.
2) If you are a person who likes to talk on the phone, if this is your main form of communication, we are likely not the right law firm for you. We do not work via phone calls. Although phone calls are sometimes necessary, most often they are not helpful. We can give you a list of patent service providers in your area. Believe us there are a ton of patent service providers in your area, doesn't matter the geography they will reach you via Internet, and they are hurting for business, and they will have no problem taking your money. If you want someone to listen to you on the phone, there are law firms that will take your money. And $bill $you $for $every $minute.
3) All payments are received and non-refundable, prior to any work beginning.
4) All incoming clients, new to the patent/trademark process, need to be aware that the patent process is DIFFICULT, TIME-CONSUMING, and can get EXPENSIVE. See 9) below, "patents are a Rich person's game". This law firm does not have control over this. We ask that every new inventor, thinking about working with us, watch this playList first. Make sure you are willing to give us the information we need to best help you! Otherwise we can't help you! This playList is titled "What your patent attorney needs from you: how to best structure your invention-disclosures". Hopefully that Title is self-explanatory. Please watch this PlayList before you Hire Us!
We have worked with any number of inventors who just could not seem to understand a) the information we need, and must have, in order to best help the inventor; b) information that is of absolutely no help to the patent process; and c) how to tell the difference.
5) Make sure you are an informed client. Before you hire anyone, make sure you are getting a patent for the right reasons. Make sure you truly understand what a patent is, and isn't. Make sure you truly understand a patent Can Do, and Cannot Do, for you. This is an area that is incredibly misunderstood even by sophisticated and intelligent inventors.
We have a playList dedicated to this, not surprisingly titled "ToughLove: giving Bad News to Inventors". Please watch this before you Hire Us!
6) If you are a person who likes to send paper checks via postal mail, we are probably not the right law firm for you. Payments should be made electronically. We take all credit cards, via either Square, Stripe, PayPal. We can also arrange for ACH transfers, as well as SWIFT. If you only want to pay via paper check and postal mail, we can give you a list of patent service providers in your area.
7) We want every inventor to be sufficiently funded to be able to fully pursue their invention. At this law firm we stress an important principle, the 40:2:1 principle.
That is, for any specific invention, a) plan on spending at least $40K, b) plan on waiting at least 2 years before any of your money starts coming back, and be aware c) there is about a 1% chance of this (profitability) happening. We are quite skilled at increasing your chances of landing in that 1%. But still, having been doing this for >23 years, having worked with literally thousands of individual inventors, these are the odds we see, based on years and years of empirical data.
Please Be Aware of this. We do not blow sunshine up orifices here. We strive tell the accurate truth. Including using Inventor-ToughLove where necessary.
That is not to suggest to not pursue your invention. Instead, it is a suggestion to be informed, be realistic, and be prepared for the magnitude of the task in front of you.
7) The vast majority of our inventors suffer from severe under-funding, and are often dismissive of the 40:2:1 principle, usually due to mis-placed optimism not based on a honest assessment. These inventors typically won't even consider $investors, feeling they won't need it, e.g. "this invention will sell itself", and/or sometimes suggesting "I don't want to have a boss". Again, this is a mistake, and we try to put our clients in a position where they are palatable and of-interest to a potential investor or grant-application or biz-plan competition. If that is not what you want, if you always want to self-fund, and don't trust investors, fine, just let us know. And if you run out of money, the patents will be "let go" and abandoned for lacking of responding to the Federal Governments' continual requests for additional money.
8) Our desired, optimal customer is what we call a "1099-inventor". This law firm wants clients that quickly request our EIN, track and calculate all expenses paid to us, and give us a 1099 every year by Jan 31. That is, our law firm strives to work with inventors that a) have an LLC, where b) that LLC has a business (non-personal) bank account, c) the LLC has a business (non-personal) credit card, where d) we are paid using that business (non-personal) credit card. If we are being paid with personal funds, that is usually a bad sign, likely indicating that the inventor is under-funded and cannot afford to be playing in this sand-box.
Every year since 2013 we have received more and more 1099s. This is a better way to do business. We prefer not to be paid from personal funds, if this can be avoided. Some times it can't.
PATENTS ARE A RICH PERSON'S GAME
9) Our desired, optimal customer is someone that is aware that patents cost significant money, and that the patent process is a slow-bleeding process somewhat comparable to being on a toll-road of uncertain length. Getting a patent all the way to Issuance usually costs at least $7000 and often $9000, plus usually takes at least 2.5 years.
We have been working with inventors and small businesses for many years, and offer numerous non-legal services for inventors. These can include but are not limited to setting up Google Adwords, finding suitable Service Providers, getting inventions built and into production, attending Trade Shows, meeting with investors and outside capital, Crowdfunding Campaigns and many other services typically need by an inventor and/or small business.
If you had difficulty with an Invention Services Corporation, if you have been cheated or conned, we are sympathetic and want to know what happened. We will want you to document the con, and make the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov) and also the US Patent Office aware of it. But we will not be able to recover the money you lost, and we will not sue the
To pay via credit card, please supply an e-mail address and we will e-mail an Invoice, payable by credit card, to that e-mail address.
At present we achieve this through Square.com. If you have another provider you prefer, please let us know.
Our office never sees any specific credit card information, and thus we cannot retain or breach such information. After processing and settlement, we receive payment directly from Square.com.
We also do business via PayPal. Please inquire to us for the specific details.
In 2021 and beyond, immediate\electronic payment should be the conventional payment mechanism.
Admittedly, there are still some businesses that still do transactions via check and postal mail. However, this practice is becoming more and more antiquated, and is no more secure than electronic payments.
Regarding checks and postal mail, regardless of deadlines, no work will begin until the check is received.
At this law firm, we get Patents Allowed as quickly as possible, even if the claims are not optimal. The rights to stronger claims are still preserved.
We get you filed, get you "patent pending", even if its something as simple as your business plan or your pitch deck.
WE GET YOU THAT EARLY ALLOWANCE! Its cheaper, its faster, to do it this way. And we still preserve your rights to stronger claims. Just remember, "stronger takes longer", along with "takes more $$".
THE MYTH OF "PATENT PURITY"
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Even better, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the cost-effective. An early Priority Date can turn out to be really important. File what you have! Either file it yourself, or have us do it, but get filed!
PROVISIONALS: a "patent on training wheels".
Not perfect, not optimal, just one step in a longer process. Remember, even Pam Anderson started out in a "training bra". And look how that business developed!
We work with DropBox, for those of our customers that prefer this. Further, we feature DropBox in our section on applying to Y-Combination, which can be found here.
We work with Google Cloud, for those of our customers that prefer this.