Legal companies might just accrue more paperwork than companies that operate with any other single sector. However, much of this paperwork they will not keep for long. While document records management policies will dictate that they keep and file some documents, there are many documents that come out of a legal office which will be destroyed at some point in time. Many people have an incorrect association with the notion of shredding important documents, and assume it is a way of hiding secrets. In fact, the opposite is often true, and the shredding of documents is about protecting privacy rather than hiding unlawful acts.
Every citizen’s information is their own. This is a basic truth that is part of the very complex set of privacy laws which govern the information which belongs to private citizens. This means that even when they choose to allow you access to certain types of that information, or provide it to you, it still belongs to them, not you. That means if you information in your possession that belongs not to you, but to that individual, you must protect it for them, or you could be held liable for failing to do so.
Legal firms obviously need to obtain a great deal of private information from people during the course of their business. Even when they need that information for a purpose though, and it is freely provided to them, it never belongs to them. Therefore, they must at some point consider shredding it so that it is no longer their responsibility to provide security over that provided information.
Most legal firms will hire a company to come to their location and destroy all their documents for them when they decide the time is right. This is a better option for several reasons. Primarily, it provides them with much better security, as they can be assured firsthand that the documents are all being destroyed in an appropriate manner. nnWhen a company comes to their location to shred documents, they will usually be required to sign an NDA to protect all that information even further.
Beyond the protection of information, cost is also a factor in paper shredding. If not destroyed, all that paperwork needs to be either filed, or stored in some capacity. Both of those services cost money, and are ongoing expenses, as opposed to document destruction, which will only cost the company money once.
As you can imagine, conveying your invention to someone who knows nothing about it will be difficult. Therefore, it is best if you are in direct contact with your patent attorney. You can meet in person and show the patent attorney any prototypes or drawings you may have to help illustrate your invention.
So how much would it cost an individual or a small business to get a patent? Let’s start with the fees from the US Patent Office. To file a basic patent application the fee is $500. When the patent is granted, there is a $700 issue fee along with a $300 publication fee. There may also be surcharges if the patent application is over 100 pages or has more than 20 claims.
Attorneys who specialize in other practice areas must deal with local, state, and national laws, but patent attorneys only need to be concerned with patent law, which is nationally regulated. A California patent attorney can assist you in New York without ever meeting you in person.
Let’s talk about that second question first. An attorney owes all sorts of ethical duties to his client. The attorney would be violating any number of them by writing a non disclosure agreement that he will later sign. As a practical matter, I hate to think that there might be some lawyers who are actually charging clients to prepare an NDA just so the client can then ask them some questions about how to patent their invention.
People who are in need of a patent attorney can find one by browsing the internet or by addressing to the legal organizations found in their town or district. The USPTO site also has a database with the best attorneys and patent agents which handle their applications, so it is a good idea to use one from their website.
In the middle of the road is the small firm that specializes in patents. This firm will have a senior patent attorney that is very experienced. There will also be several junior patent attorneys. The junior patent attorneys will likely do most of the patent writing.
A good time to do this is during an initial consultation. Your attorney will be ready to discuss fees at this first meeting, and you should be ready to do the same. Clarify whether you will be charged by the hour (time-based billing) or by the task (fixed-fee billing), how often you will receive a bill and payment terms.
A patent attorney will be useful in such circumstances. He will make a complete study of your idea and go through the illustrations and drawings thoroughly. He will conduct a search in order to confirm the novelty of your concept and then only take up the case to apply for a patent.
So if you lack some or all of these capabilities or you just want to make sure your patent application is correct, then you need to hire a patent attorney. This is a case of a penny saved equals $10.00 lost. Of course you need to do your due diligence. You need to know that your idea will indeed be profitable.
Clients mostly persuade their patent attorney to sign a non disclosure agreement. Patent attorney appointed for the purpose of patenting is not required to sign the non disclosure agreement on request of the inventor. But various lawyers obtain money from the inventors in order to sign a non disclosure agreement (NDA). This practice is followed so that the inventor questions about the procedure of the invention patenting from the patent attorney. These types of agreements are beneficial to the inventors however the patent attorney acts as a signing authority and has to pay for this process. Therefore, considering the ethical rights this practice has been excluded. If the non disclosure agreement (NDA) is being decided and signed in any case, it is advised for both the patent attorney and the inventor to consult a counsel for the same. This is a little unusual as the patent attorney who represents his/her client has to further consult his/her attorney in order to get advised whether to sign the non-disclosure agreement or not. This is why such an option is not considered by various inventors and patent attorneys who work for patenting the innovation.
Until and unless the idea and information regarding the innovation are discussed with the patent attorney by the inventor, the non disclosure agreement (NDA) cannot be signed as the patent attorney is liable to provide confidentiality to the information given by the inventor. A patent attorney has to abide by various federal rules which are imposed so that the information of the inventor or the client is always kept confidential. In such scenarios an inventor gets confused as in how to get a non disclosure agreement (NDA) signed without disclosing his/her original idea to the lawyer. What best could be done here is that inventor gets the non disclosure agreement (NDA) drafted by a lawyer first and then submit it to the patent attorney for signature and then get started with the client-attorney involvement.
But, this could prove difficult as a lot of money from the inventors end would be spent. There shouldn’t be any discrepancy of interests of the current or past clients while the patent attorney represents the current inventor. This can also create some issues for the patent attorney until the patent attorney is well versed with the client needs and requirements. Disclosing fundamental information pertaining to the invention with the patent attorney which might not necessarily include all the information about the invention can ensure inventors about the faster and successful patenting process and signing of the non disclosure agreement (NDA). However, for some patent attorneys such basic information could not be sufficient enough.
Therefore, clients and inventors do trust some patent attorneys and reply upon them in such scenarios as they would not use the innovative idea for illegal and unlawful use as the patent attorney is not into such competition as is the client himself.