A Patently-O Reader e-mailed with the hope of starting a discussion on the topic of patent attorney and agent fees for patent prosecution.
He writes “large clients have … pushed down their rates, some in 2009 and some in 2010. In at least two cases, these are clients flush with incredible amounts of cash. Thus, this is not a problem of client-liquidity.” His clients have created rules that would block both a partner and an associate from billing on the same response. “To some clients, this appears to be two attorneys doing work that can be finished by a single attorney.” In addition, his clients are “unwilling to allow their prosecution to be used as a type of training exercise. They want the work done quickly, at the lowest cost. Being part of a training exercise does not achieve this purpose.” In the background is the reality that there are “many unemployed or underemployed patent attorneys willing to do this work and do it effectively, at [under 2007] rates.”