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Patent Law Firm: us patent, patent search, patent attorney, patent an invention, patent idea, patent information, patent law, patent application, u.s patent, united state patent, patent lawyer, patent agent, us patent search, software patent, patent pending, patent research, design patent, patent protection, patent help, patents, invention marketing in San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Santa Clara.

 


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policies

Our File Maintenance Policy

Our Document Submission Policy

Billing and Fees

 

Our File Maintenance Policy

The patent application process generates a plethora of documents that must be properly handled and organized.  However, not all documents must be, or even should be, maintained.  Such documents include application drafts, assignments, amendments, declarations, information disclosures, filing receipts, and much, much more.  For individual inventors and some small businesses it may be a formidable challenge to know what should be kept, and how to properly maintain those documents.  The proper handling of all patent application related documents is a critical legal issue that both our firm takes very seriously.  We strongly encourage our clients to follow our file maintenance policy as well.  Otherwise, their legal protection could be significantly compromised should their awarded patent be litigated. 

Should your patent become the subject of a patent infringement proceeding, it would be common for our firm, or our client, to receive a subpoena from a litigation attorney who hopes to review our patent files for incriminating evidence.  Fortunately, there is recent Federal Circuit case law upholding the confidentiality of most patent application related, attorney(agent)-client privileged information and work products.  In most cases, this protection makes it significantly more difficult for litigation opponents to gain access to the firm’s files.  However, there are exceptions where some documents may otherwise be admitted as evidence.  Importantly, your files may not receive the benefit of privileged information.  This is why there is an even greater imperative for our clients to keep their patent files optimally maintained.  Otherwise, if your patent ever is litigated, your case could be significantly compromised, or even lost. 

Hence, it is our policy to maintain our patent files such that they do not include the following material:

  • All copies of patents that were not deemed as prior art, and therefore not cited to USPTO.
  • All patent application drafts or related notes and memos.
  • Any hypothetical discussion that is speculative and/or could be viewed as an admission.

We ask our clients to maintain their own files according to a similar policy as further detailed in our Intellectual Property (IP) information section of this website, under non-provisional patents- Document Maintenance. 

All files must be properly maintained prior to any notice of patent litigation.  Subject to civil and criminal penalties, patent files may not be purged of superfluous documentation after receiving a litigation notice. 

Our Document Submission Policy

Please take note: do not submit confidential information to Bay Area Intellectual Property Group (Bay Area IP) until you have become a client of the firm, or otherwise instructed to do so by a member of the firm.

Bay Area Intellectual Property Group (Bay Area IP) is committed to protecting the confidentiality of your invention and related information.  Documents may be submitted to us by Postal or Courier delivery, or by email.  However, please note that all invention disclosures used in Cost Oriented PPA preparation service must be submitted in electronic form.  All drawings should be submitted in electronic form when ever possible, but may be physically delivered or FAXed (use top quality mode) to us such that the received copy has sufficient quality to clearly disclose all key features. 

It should be noted that as courier deliveries are not completely safe from 3rd party interception, unencrypted email is likewise vulnerable to interception.  Hence, never email us anything confidential through unencrypted email.  Bay Area IP has adapted its practice to keep up with the increasing shift towards electronic document delivery and employs various security measures including PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) email protection.  Follow this link for more details on what PGP is, and how to use it.

Billing and Fees
Please review our service agreement for more details. It will be sent to you prior to becoming a client of the firm. Below are some highlights for informational purposes; however, the service agreement has priority over all other information sources.

    • For new clients, a 100% retainer is required for fees below $1500. A quoted retainer is required for fees above $1500, whereby the balance is due upon a task milestone. All funds must be honored and hard copy service agreement received before we start work.
    • Clients who have established a billing history with the firm may be billed monthly, as determined on a case-by-case basis. All fees are due when billed.
    • Bills still due after 30 days are charged a late fee of 1.5% per month.
    • We bill in quarter hour increments.
    • We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards securely online through PayPal, Inc.
    • We also accept secure online check payments through PayPal’s echeck payment service.
    • We also accept Wire Transfers to our bank, but there is a $15 charge to cover our bank's fee. Please add a $25.00 fee if your payment is by wire transfer originating outside the USA (this is our bank fee cost).
    • Payments may also be made by physically mailing us a check, certified bank draft, or money order. Checks take up to 5 days to clear. All funds must be honored before we start work.
    • Clients must pay all USPTO fees prior to filing (USPTO regulations bar us from advancing fees for clients).
    • All outstanding fees (including USPTO fees) must be paid before we file the patent application, unless we have arranged, in writing and advance of any patent work, an alternative payment plan.
    • Returned checks are charged a $50 fee, in addition to any related bank fees.
    • Unless otherwise agreed to, fees for our services are not inclusive of incidental expenses related to prosecuting our client’s cases. Such out-of-pocket expenses are billed to the Client at cost. Typical incidental expenses include costs such as postage/courier, telephone, bank, draftsman, copying, foreign agent, etc.
    • Our fees are subject to change without notice.



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