An alternative to paying a patent attorney to renew your patents

Kinga Fodor
April 30, 2024
Reading time:
3 minutes

Have you ever wondered why IP law firms are dealing with patent renewals at all?

Patents have always been considered a legal matter, and we all know that legal matters can be very expensive. When we realized how expensive it is to maintain a patent, we started questioning if this should be considered a legal matter. Why is an annual payment to a patent office completed by patent attorneys, we wondered?

After months of careful research, we realized that a legal firm does not necessarily need to handle IP renewals. Here is why:

  1. It is a waste of money

Nowadays, many IP law firms do not renew their customers' patents; they outsource them. In the past, legal firms dealt with patent renewals mainly due to the lack of interconnectivity in the world (pre-Internet and pre-online banking infrastructure). Much has changed in this field since then, and as a result of our experience, our extensive work in the IP industry, and after many fruitful talks with our customers, we realized that IP owners can be more cost-effective if they choose the right provider.

Surprisingly, IP law firms instead outsource the patent renewal to IP service providers who conduct the renewal process, and they might keep the hedging fees for themselves and very often work with expensive intermediaries.

In addition, IP law firms charge a handling fee and additional billable hours for advice.

All in all, they might just be the middleman in these transactions, making the renewals more expensive without necessarily adding more value.

  1. Lack of financial transparency

We have always trusted legal firms, mainly because of our lack of knowledge in the legal field. However, in many particular instances of patent renewals, we have found that most IP law firms provide inadequate information, failing to relay the many other expenses that their clients are paying for whether they are aware of them or not. Handling fees from IP law firms and an inflated official fee are usually the only totals that companies are provided for deciphering their expenses.

  1. Lack of data

Many IP law firms do not provide the opportunity for their customers to receive a clear overview of their patent renewals. We noticed a general lack of patent overview with the companies that switched to our services from their previous IP service provider. This results in frustration when IP responsibles have to decide or discuss whether to keep their patents with little foundation to assess patent costs over the next 5 years. The most common attempt is to correspond back and forth by email with your IP law firm, paying for simplistic Excel spreadsheets that are inadequate for the cost simulations that most companies require in 2022.

  1. IP law firms are NOT inevitable

If we consider that some of these outsourcing IP law firms are just middlemen in the whole patent renewal value chain, we can certainly say that they can be left out from the patent renewal process, depending on how engaged they are in the process as advisors and active participants. Their added value can be so incremental in most cases when they outsource themselves, that it is not worth the time and expenses invested. Their involvement can also be detrimental, especially on the advice and counseling side.

If you want to have your invoice analyzed for free and know more about how to save up to 50% on renewals, contact us!