Dear IPWatchdog: New Patent Attorney Seeks Fee Advice
|Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & Founder of IPWatchdog
Zies, Widerman & Malek
Follow Gene on Twitter @IPWatchdog
Posted: Jul 11, 2013 @ 7:45 am
Editorial Note: The following inquiry was submitted via contact form. I communicated with the person who submitted, giving my advice. I was given permission to post the question here to solicit the collective wisdom of our readers.
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I’m a fairly new/young patent attorney. I work at a firm where I am the only patent attorney, of several attorneys. I am trying to figure out how to set my fees and fee structure for patent prosecution and trademark registration work. Friends from law school in the Dallas area suggested using a flat-fee for prosecution, rather than an hourly rate. My concerns are, because I’m relatively new to prosecution, I’m not sure how to accurately estimate the time involved from an inventor’s initial disclosure so I set a flat-fee that won’t grossly under predict the amount of time required. Of course, I also want to set my fee to be market competitive. I’m located in the Greater Nashville Area.
Second fee structure question would be similar: How to structure fees (flat-fee for initial filing, and hourly for office action responses/amendments?) How would I structure fees for a continuation application or an RCE?
Would love some guidance on this “administrative” aspect of patent law practice that I seem to be unable to find in the resources available commercially.
— New Patent Attorney
About the Author
Gene Quinn is a US Patent Attorney, law professor and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the top patent bar review course in the nation, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam. Gene started the widely popular intellectual property website IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and since that time the site has had many millions of unique visitors. Gene has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the LA Times, USA Today, CNN Money, NPR and various other newspapers and magazines worldwide. He represents individuals, small businesses and start-up corporations. As an electrical engineer with a computer engineering focus his specialty is electronic and computer devices, Internet applications, software and business methods.