Richards Patent Law is a Chicago-based patent law firm providing full-service patent prosecution and counseling, including preparing and filing patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While based in Chicago, Richards Patent Law serves national and international patent clients.
In addition to writing, filing and prosecuting patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), I also provide experienced counseling for all patent related matters. One of my specialties is helping businesses protect their inventions as they bring new products to market. I provide guidance to help identify your protectable intellectual property. I evaluate whether your product might infringe existing patent rights and assist you in redesigning your product to avoid infringement when prudent. I provide you with clear strategies for protecting your inventions by making optimal use of provisional patent applications, utility patent applications and design patent applications where appropriate. In every case, my focus is centered on identifying the best path for your business, not just provide a generic strategy.
Clients typically contact me when they are in the process of developing a new product. I meet with the people involved, over the phone or in person, to gain an understanding of the product and any known existing similar products. I then work with the inventors to identify whether the product is patentable and whether we need to evaluate patent infringement issues. The questions of patentability and patent infringement sometimes involve formal patent searching, but other times can be handled informally. In some cases, I am asked by my clients to examine the infringement issues more closely and to prepare a written freedom to operate opinion based on a patent clearance search. If the invention is patentable, I work with the client to determine what type of patent application to file.
Once a patent application has been filed it is examined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The examination process often takes several years. In that time, the patent office will likely make one or more rejections of the patent application and the applicant is often required to prepare and file numerous responses to these rejections with the patent office. The fees that occur during examination are difficult to predict as they relate directly to the number of times the patent office raises objections to the patent application and the complexity of the responses to be filed, but as a rough estimation, I like to have clients be prepared to spend as much during the patent application's examination as they did to prepare and file the application. Additional information about patent costs can be found here: How much does a patent cost?
As noted, the fees involved vary depending on the complexity of the matter. I work with my clients to set the costs before moving forward with their matters. In fact, I am a strong proponent of using fixed fees for patent prosecution, preferring fixed fees, rather than my hourly rate, anytime the scope of the patent matter can be reasonably determined at the outset of the project.
Since leaving my previous firm and starting up my own practice, I have been able to reduce the rates I charge my clients considerably. The rates I offer now are often less than half of what I previously charges for my services. However, even at my reduced rates, the patent process can be expensive. Accordingly, I will work with you directly to help you identify ways to manage your intellectual property needs efficiently and cost effectively. I will help you evaluate the best methods of protecting your valuable business. My goal is to build a lasting relationship that strongly benefits your business.
Richards Patent Law P.C.
3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 493,