FAQs

How much do your services cost?

You can find my entire fee schedule under services. I strive to make sure that my pricing is completely transparent and the same for all of my clients. You can be sure that you aren’t being charged more simply because I believe that you could pay more, which is what will happen at many law firms.

How can you charge so much less than other patent attorneys?

I do not make you pay for me to have a nice office in a downtown office building with valet parking for shareholders. In the end, large firms will charge you what they think they can get away with to maximize their profit and prestige. You are only paying me for my time and resources directly related to the work that I do for you.

Additionally, I charge the same price to all of my clients, regardless of their budget, which means that I do not have to charge you more to make up for other clients that are getting charged less.

How much would your services cost somewhere else?

The cost would largely depend on where you obtained the services. Large firms could charge 3-4 times as much. Small firms would typically charge 1.5-2 times as much.

How much is due/When is it due?

Normally, after reviewing the disclosure materials (anything that helps me understand the invention) I will provide a client with a quote detailing my fee and require a payment prior to beginning work on any legal matters. Once we have agreed on the costs, I generally require half of the total as a retainer before beginning work and the other half after a final draft is produced but before I file.

When can I file a patent application?

The best practice is to file the application as soon as is practical. There are various reasons for this. For example, if someone else invents the same thing but files before you they are given priority under new first to file rules. Moreover, if you wait you may be prevented from enforcing your patent against others. Additionally, more art will continue to accumulate that can be used against you. Ultimately, waiting will almost never benefit you and waiting can be very detrimental.

You can file the patent application as soon as the invention is complete. You do not have to build it. However, you need to have enough information that you could build it. That is, the idea needs to be sufficiently complete that you can “practice” the invention.

Also, you can file the application up to one year after disclosing or selling the invention (in the United States, most foreign countries do not allow this one year “grace period”). Although the PTO rarely checks this requirement, it could be used even after a patent has issued to invalidate your patent.

There are mechanisms available to file quickly. If you feel that time is of the essence, or even if you are unsure, contact me as soon as possible and I will work with you to make sure that your patent rights get protected.

What is a provisional application?/What is a non-provisional application?

See my blog post on this subject.

How does a non-provisional application differ from a utility application?

A utility application is a type of patent application. A utility patent application can include either a provisional application or a non-provisional application. Nevertheless, many people, including many patent attorneys, use the terms utility application and non-provisional application interchangeably. The other types of patent application are design applications and plant applications.

What is “Design Application” and how is it different than a Utility Application?

In a design patent application, the subject matter which is claimed is the design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture (or portion thereof) and not the article itself. The design for an article consists of the visual characteristics embodied in or applied to an article.

Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. Design is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone merely as a scheme of surface ornamentation. It must be a definite, preconceived thing, capable of reproduction and not merely the chance result of a method.

Why do you charge extra for expedited filings?

There are two main reasons I charge extra for expedited filings. The first is that it disrupts my work flow. In general, I work on project in the order that they are authorized by the client. It isn’t fair if one client can “leapfrog” other clients and get their work done sooner, even though they waited longer to authorize the work.

The second is that I have already informed some clients that their work will be done in the near future. Therefore, in order to expedite work for a client I have to put in extra hours to get the work done quickly and to keep my commitments to other clients. I.e., a request to expedite work is, in reality, a request for me to work nights and weekends on your project.

What are your qualifications?

I have been registered with the USPTO, first as a patent agent and then as a patent attorney, since April 10, 2006. I have been licensed in Washington as an attorney since November 16, 2006.

I have degrees in both electrical engineering and biochemistry and have prepared and prosecuted patent applications in many different arts including: computer science/software, electronics, mechanical devices, medical devices, material sciences, chemistry and biotechnology.

If you would like to learn more about my qualifications, you can go the about me page.

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About Dustin Call (26 Posts)

Registered with the USPTO, first as a patent agent and then as a patent attorney, since April 10, 2006 and licensed in Washington as an attorney since November 16, 2006. I have worked for a large firm and now have a solo practice.


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