patent infringement attorney
Patent litigation is an incredibly complex issue for most companies. The implications are very complicated and the financial risks are huge. According to data issued by the AIPLA (The American Intellectual Property Law Association), the median litigation cost per side for a patent infringement lawsuit is $350,000 to $650,000 if the disposition is less than $1 million. The costs go higher when the dispositions are greater, of course. These costs are massive for any small to medium-sized company and having a good patent and trademark attorney by your side is very important.
Most patent infringement attorneys are specialized in various aspects of patent law. Some are specialized in patent prosecution (this involves obtaining patent rights for certain inventions) while others are specialized in patent litigation (this involves handling the legal disputes that occur when someone or a company is infringing an already existing patent). Although these specialties are different, attorneys will work together on a case in order to guarantee success. No matter your case, look for a law firm that can handle your case from any direction (both patent prosecution and patent litigation). Attorneys, however, cost a lot of money and knowing how to keep the costs down is very important. Here is a quick guide to help you save big bucks on patent infringement attorneys:
Your attorney works for you – remember this
Your attorney is a service provider, and like every service provider you hire, you will have to set certain boundaries in your professional relationship. Obviously, this should be done before signing any contract and before getting any work done. It's very important to get a financial offer before signing a contract and see what this offer consists of. If the offer is not detailed, the costs can escalate enormously. The offer must be detailed and comprehensive, as this reduces the risks of hidden costs, higher fees, and other financial issues. If you want a long term professional relationship with the attorney, you'll have to pay special attention to the financial offer. For instance, ask if there are any special discounts or long term offers for larger clients.
Do your research – use referrals
Referrals are amazing ways to reduce costs when it comes to patent and trademark infringement attorneys. There's no better endorsement than personal ones. Try to read other patents that are similar to yours and see the authors. Try to find out who was the lawyer that worked on them and contact them. The lawyer will precisely know the field and will likely know what you are dealing with. It's very important to find a lawyer that has the right experience in the field you activate. For instance, if your company is focused on medical technology, you may want a lawyer who knows this niche. The costs will be lower and the risks will be lower.
Don't limit your options
This is very important when choosing a good patent infringement lawyer. Geographical limitations should not exist in this legal area, as the patent laws are federal. If you have a company based in Georgia, your patent infringement lawyer can be based in Florida, for instance. It's not uncommon to have a patent attorney that you never even met face to face. What's more, prices can vary a lot. An area with many patent attorneys may be very competitive, and prices can get lower than areas where only a few firms are active. Keep your eyes open and be willing to work with law firms from all over the country, you'd be surprised to know that there are good lawyers everywhere.
The pros and cons of working with a larger firm vs. an independent patent infringement lawyer
Working with larger firms and working with independent patent and trademark infringement attorneys is very different. At larger firms, which usually offer full services, your case will be handled by a full team of experienced attorneys. During the initial phases, you will likely be in contact with an experienced associate which will guide you through the important steps of patent litigation. If the case is big, the team can be expanded with other professionals. These firms can handle in-house most cases, including trademarks, licensing agreements, copyrights and litigation issues. The massive downside is that they are usually very expensive and maybe too much for your case.
On the other hand, if working with an independent attorney, you will get a better price and the attorney will work directly with you. This is very important for certain clients and getting a direct experience can be helpful in some cases. Patent law, however, is very complex and highly specialized; in larger cases, you will end up working with more attorneys, a process that can become complicated in time. In any case, hire a person that you trust and can help you. Hire someone that you feel can do the job right and has the experience.
Make sure you provide the right information
No matter how good your patent infringement attorney is, he or she can only work with what you have to offer. You are the most important aspect of patent infringement cases. You must know your invention, how it works, what it brings new, and how the patent should be written. The exact specifications of the product are something that you have to provide to the lawyer. Don't be passive in these situations and assume the lawyer can fix everything. Send your lawyer a prototype, if possible, or a sell sheet with complete specifications. Read everything that is included in the patent draft, make modifications, pay attention to specifics and always communicate with the attorney.
Make sure everything is in writing
Get the offer in writing. Is your attorney billing clients by the hour or for the job? Is your case big enough to get a special discount or a special offer? Getting the right offer is very good as it allows you to compare them among other lawyers. Keep all your documents and compare them.