Frequently Asked Questions

As intellectual property lawyers, we help businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies navigate complex intellectual property issues. This FAQ addresses questions we generally hear during initial meetings.

How much is handling my IP issue going to cost?

We routinely deal with complex technologies in a complex area of the law. Our fees are more than competitive over that of large law firms for the same or greater quality of service. In fact, our attorneys worked in large international firms for the majority of their careers. We employ the latest in law firm technology to reduce overhead and pass the savings on to our clients (and we are a Green Firm). However, intellectual property matters, all the way from clearing and filing trademark applications to multi-patent litigation in the district courts, are complex and expensive. We strive to provide the highest quality representation for a fair price, and we do not cut corners.

How long is it going to take?

Simple patent applications filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can issue in as little as 18 months, but expect the more typical two years or longer. Trademark applications that are well-researched prior to filing can sail through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in as little as six months but expect a year or more. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office post-grant validity proceedings typically take a year to 18 months to completion once they are filed, but sometimes take longer. District court litigations routinely take several years to reach a decision, not including appeals. We are experienced in these areas and can give you time and cost estimates that are fairly accurate for most IP matters. Since we routinely deal with government agencies in handling our clients' IP matters, time estimates can vary.

What are our chances of success?

All clients that are expending money on IP matters are rightly concerned with how likely they will have a successful outcome. No attorney can, or should, guarantee success (if you find one that does, run). Enhancing the likelihood of success in IP matters generally resides in preparedness. The more research and thought put into a project, the more likely a successful outcome. Sometimes our analysis of a client's IP issue results in telling clients bad news. However, reality is better than wishful thinking, and it is a basis for moving forward to a successful outcome.

What billing arrangements will you consider?

We are completely flexible on billing arrangements that make sense for the client and our firm. Most clients still prefer to be billed by the hour. Some more time-predictable matters can be handled on a flat or fixed-fee basis. We are open to other arrangements that make sense to the client and the firm. For new clients, we require an advanced deposit.

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We can be reached by phone through our San Francisco office at 415-800-1527 or through the Contact page of this website.