Save Time and Money By Learning From My Mistakes!
When I decided to open my own patent law firm, I started searching for an accountant. In particular, I wanted an accountant who is local to Houston, Texas, and who has experience working with small businesses. I started out by asking Houston attorneys and professionals if they could give me a referral. Most said they were looking for a good accountant themselves. Could I recommend anyone?
Others raved about how good their accountant was. However, when I tried to contact their accountant, my emails and phone calls were ignored most of the time. Other times, when someone did answer the phone, I was told that the accountant did not provide free consultations. It would be $200 for them to even pick up the phone to see if they could help me. I thought CPAs were a highly regulated, professional field. Yelp was turning out to be useless and Google was even worse. Even the professionals at H&R Block couldn’t be bothered to return a simple email. It felt like I was playing Russian roulette with my business.
All of this leads to months of frustration and despair.
Then one day everything changed. I was at a Houston networking event for chemical and biotech start-ups when I met a young professional who worked at a small accounting firm. He suggested that I call his boss because she was a small business owner and her practice focused on helping startups in Houston.
One call to her made all of the difference in the world! I had finally found a friendly competent accountant. She listened to my description of who I was and what I needed. She told me that her specialized services were not a good fit for my needs, then she referred me to a tax attorney and CPA who focused on helping small businesses get set up. Both of them responded to emails within minutes! They were exactly what I needed. And all it took was finding one friendly competent accountant.
Looking for a good patent attorney can be just as frustrating. I know just how confusing and frustrating searching for professional services can be. I want to be that friendly competent patent attorney for you. In particular, I have decided to write a guide on how to find a good patent attorney.
This is the first post in what will be a “How To Find A Patent Attorney” series. I will be writing this series in order to help entrepreneurs, founders of start-ups, and general counsel of small businesses find a good patent attorney. In other words, I am going to assume that you do not work for a large company, that you are not that familiar with patent law, and that you are looking for a good U.S. patent attorney. I also assume that you are looking for a patent attorney to help you patent an idea or avoid getting sued for patent infringement (a.k.a. patent preparation, patent prosecution, and patent opinion work).
If you are searching for a patent litigator to enforced or defend patent, then you should consult another guide.
The posts in my guide will address the following:
- Finding A Good Patent Attorney For Who You Are
- Finding An Experienced Patent Attorney For What You Need
- Finding The Best Patent Attorney For You
- How To Search For A Good Patent Attorney
- How To Verify The Credentials Of A Patent Attorney
- Patent Attorney Costs And Expectations
- How To Get The Most Out Of A Free Consultation
- The Conclusion
Why Should You Care?
At this point, you may be thinking something like, “Wait a minute! Why should I read a total of 9 posts to find a good patent attorney? I have seen other web pages with this information sort of information in a single list of bullet points!”
The typical cost for drafting a patent application is over $8,000. The typical cost of filing and obtaining a U.S. patent is $20,000 to $30,000. If I were going to invest that much money to have a service provider obtain a patent for me, I would invest the time to read a few posts and figure out who you are trusting to write your most valuable business assets. I suggest that you do the same.
The next post in my “How To Find A Patent Attorney: My Guide for Performing Your Own Patent Attorney Search” series will cover “Finding A Good Patent Attorney For Who You Are.” Click here for the next post.