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Patent Question of the Month

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It’s no secret lawyers aren’t cheap. But just how much is it to retain an attorney to draft your patent application?

Let’s take a closer look…

— Question from a Reader —-

Matt asks, "I was wondering, what is it that you do to confirm that a certain idea is not already taken? Also What are some of the fee’s in hiring a
Patent Attorney and how much?"

Dear Matt,

To answer your second question first – you’re looking at about $3,000 to $15,000 for us to draft the patent.

If that seems like a lot, consider these two points.

First, the average hourly rate for any lawyer is $150 an hour for a recent grad and up to $500 an hour for an experienced
attorney. So imagine for a second you had an attorney defend you in a court case. He’d spend a few days preparing for the case. He’d have his time in court. And of course there would be the follow up to the court case.

Let’s say that’s just three 8 hour days at $150 an hour. That’s $1,200 a day. Or $3,600 for just three days of work.

Second, most patent applications run dozens of pages. This takes time (roughly 6-8 weeks for a full application). Why so long? Because a patent is a legal document. If it is not carefully prepared, it will not hold up in a court of law.

For example, a few years back there was a patent that was ruled invalid because of one letter in a single application. Because of this little mistake, the company lost out on potential millions of dollars in sales (you can read more about this case in my post – 3 Common Patent Application Mistakes).

Now, for your first question.

For us to find out if you idea is taken we must research it. The way we do this is fairly simple. We search existing patents that are relative to your idea using special software. Depending on the type of invention, what category it is in, and how complex it is affects how long this takes (sometimes it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack).

But it’s not just a matter of time. Remember how I said patents are legal documents? Well that means they are filled with legal terminology.

For example. Normal people might call the end of a broom the, well, end of a broom. Patent Attorneys might call it the distal end (because it’s the end farthest away from the body).

Why use "legalese"? Because it makes your patent stronger in a variety of ways (that’s a discussion for another day).

If you have a question about patents or the patent process, send it to newideas@ideaattorneys.com. Or you can request your Inventors Patent Kit by mail and email, just click on the link —-> Free Inventors Tookit Page.

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