Many of the Firm’s services are provided on a flat fee basis as opposed to billing hourly.
How the Flat Fee Works
The flat fee is agreed upon with you before the work begins and is due at agreed upon milestones. The flat fee philosophy provides certainty, allowing you to plan and budget for the cost of our services and eliminating the surprise and hassle of hourly billing.
The services currently provided under the flat fee are:
• Patent Drafting and Prosecution*
• U.S. National Phase Patent Filing and Prosecution*
• Trademark Filing and Prosecution*
• Copyright Filings
• Standard Agreements
• Training Seminars (provided free for ongoing customers)
*Excluding appeals and oppositions
The Problem with Hourly Billing
The Firm believes that hourly billing, which charges for each communication (e.g. e-mails and phone calls), is the single largest barrier to your attorney becoming a proactive member of your business team. Businesses hesitate to proactively involve their attorney early on because the attorney charges them for each and every contact. Under the hourly fee, the attorney’s primary role is to react to situations where the business’s options are limited. When hourly billing is used, customers try not to incur the charges that come from e-mailing or calling their attorneys up front, and wind up calling after the event and saying, “I thought I could do this, and now I have a letter accusing me of violating another company’s rights. How can you get me out of this?”
Why Use a Flat Fee?
The flat fee eliminates the charges for each individual phone call or e-mail, increasing the business’s access to their attorney. The Firm believes that, with flat-fee billing, customers involve us earlier and we become part of the business team and not the clean-up team.
For example, under the flat fee, a customer may proactively call us and ask, “My business needs to accomplish this objective, what do we have to do to make it happen?”, or “What are the legal considerations we need to know about and what are your recommendations?” without additional fees. The proactive legal advice obtained under the flat fee often leaves the business with more options and fewer costs than the “get me out of this” reactive legal advice obtained under hourly billing.
For patent filings specifically, our experience shows that the number of inventions surfaced to management dramatically increases when the inventors can freely interact with the attorney in order to evaluate whether an idea is patentable.