Lawyers' fees are the main costs associated with hiring a patent attorney. To practice patent law, attorneys must pass an exam that demonstrates their understanding of the policies and procedures of the USPTO. However, some patent attorneys may charge a fixed fee in addition to an hourly rate for work that is not included in the original scope of the project. In order to write a successful patent application, your patent attorney must have a thorough understanding of your invention, what other people have done in the same area, and how your invention improves upon these previous approaches. It is important to note that even if you incur the costs associated with hiring a patent attorney, the Patent Office may still reject your application if they are not convinced that your invention is new and not obvious. To become a patent attorney, one must be admitted to both the State Bar Association and the Patent Bar Association.
If you have a tighter budget, you may want to consider hiring an independent patent agent instead of an attorney. Patent agents are not qualified to practice law, but they are trained to perform all the same jobs related to filing a patent with the USPTO. The patent office and examining attorneys will not treat an application differently depending on who filed it. The total amount you'll spend on a patent attorney varies greatly depending on the type of idea you're trying to patent. The Patent Office rejects the vast majority of patent applications when they are first reviewed. The best option is to hire an experienced patent attorney who specializes in patent law but does not work in a firm with a lot of overhead.
Once the application is filed and the applicant is in the patent process, additional fees may be required for responses from the applicant's attorney. Therefore, inventors must consider more than just the costs of applying for a patent when budgeting for their project. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations to answer questions about the patent filing process and expected costs.