Practical Tips for Running the Patent Law Office

Hanging Out Your Shingle — The Downside

The downside of going at it alone is big. All of the docketing, secretarial work, filing, etc is handled by me. I order supplies, maintain the computers, do the billing, make the coffee, build the website, answer the phones, etc.

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Hanging Out Your Shingle — The Upside

Breaking out on my own, as many other people would tell you, was the most frightening and most rewarding thing I have ever done in my career thus far. I know that everyone has their own story about why and how they made the jump. For me, I always had it in the back of my mind that it was something I would like to try. And to this day, things have worked out pretty well.

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Fast Turnaround

I really try to keep my turnaround times for patent applications as low as possible, and there are many reasons why, but the biggest reason is that I can turn out higher quality work than if I did it any other way.

Obviously, clients like quick turnaround because they know that I am working on their project. However, I think there is an optimum time to take for writing a patent application. Finishing the application too fast or too slow can have its effect on patent quality.

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Price Sensitivity to Patent Preparation and Prosecution

I had occasion to discuss pricing schemes with another practitioner last week, and I think it is a very interesting topic.

The value delivered by a patent practitioner should, under normal circumstances, far outweighs the costs. If a single invention is generally worth patenting, it should potentially generate hundreds of thousands, if not millions and millions of dollars. This is more true for the small startup company where the largest asset is one or two patents covering the core idea, as opposed to the very large corporations who have portfolios of thousands of patents. The same holds true for independent inventors with ideas that are commercially viable.

Given that an inventor has a potential of reaping millions of dollars from their invention, does the price really matter for the patent?

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