What is the difference between an IP strategy session and a free initial consultation?
Our free initial consultation covers a host of general IP questions. If more specific guidance is desired on your particular patent or trademark matter, we offer an IP strategy session where we can discuss the details of your intellectual property matter and help form a strategy for moving forward.
Should you file a patent application?
Patent issues covered in an IP strategy session may include a discussion of whether your invention is patent-worthy. We would help the client make an informed decision about whether or not it makes sense to file a utility nonprovisional patent application. We can delve into obstacles we might reasonably expect from the USPTO, ways to bolster the allowability of your patent application, and how we might overcome the inevitable Office Actions.
For startups at the crossroads between maintaining new technology as a trade secret versus patenting, we can discuss the pros and cons of each approach.
Nearly all inventions are improvements upon preexisting ideas and products. Determining whether a concept might be patentable requires an assessment of the incremental improvement of your invention over the prior art. While it is difficult to predict if a patent application would be allowable, experienced patent lawyers can usually predict when patent examiners will reject certain inventions. The value of an effective patent strategy session is not only to tell clients that their concepts will be rejected, but what can be done to bolster the probability of getting their utility patent granted.
To know what makes for a good utility patent, you must have a proper understanding of patent claims. A helpful patent strategy session can delve a bit into the core features to be covered by your independent claims versus secondary features that might be recited in dependent claims.
Are patents worth the investment if litigation is too expensive?
Patent litigation is ridiculously expensive. Everyone knows it. But, not everyone knows there are other reasons for obtaining patents. In our IP strategy session, we can discuss how simply being patent-pending may help you reach certain business goals even if your patent is never litigated. We can also discuss various types of patent litigation insurance that could significantly reduce legal costs in offensive or defense patent lawsuits.
Should you file a trademark application?
Two key issues should be addressed upfront before filing a trademark application:
1. Is the mark merely descriptive of the goods or services?
2. Is there a high probability of rejection based on likelihood of confusion?
While a knockout search would be required to gauge the probability of a likelihood of confusion rejection, an experienced IP attorney can provide preliminary thoughts on the descriptiveness of a mark. It may be best to adopt a different mark upfront rather than go through all the time and expense of developing a brand that must be subsequently changed.
How long is an IP strategy session?
A strategy session can last up to one hour. We can meet in person at our office in Orange County or hold a virtual meeting with screenshare. While we certainly appreciate meeting our clients in person, we want to respect our clients’ time by recommending a virtual meeting which avoids southern California traffic.
How much does an IP strategy session cost?
We charge a flat rate of $400 for each strategy session. Since we do not track any unused time, we recommend that clients prepare all their questions ahead of time so that they make full use of the hour. Clients can pay for the strategy session by credit card. New clients must complete and sign our engagement agreement, and email a signed copy to firstname.lastname@example.org (original not required).