(In some jurisdictions, this page could be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.)
While I often speculate about legal issues online, and provide general, non-legal advice where appropriate or at least entertaining, if you want me to answer specific legal questions you must retain me as your attorney. Here is what that entails:
1) What I Can Do For You
a) I provide general legal advice for matters related to the law of the state of Illinois, where I am a licensed attorney.
b) I can provide advice regarding filing patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as advice regarding allegations of patent infringement. I am a registered patent attorney and can draft, file, and prosecute patent applications in multiple fields of art. I am particularly experienced with tech/computer patents, toys, games, and similar types of inventions. I can also provide advice regarding, and file, Patent Cooperation Treaty applications and advise on converting them to National Stage applications anywhere in the world.
(I do not do plant patents or biological patents, though I have referrals for those.)
c) I can provide advice regarding filing trademark registrations in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as advice regarding allegations of trademark infringement. As a licensed attorney I can draft, file, and prosecute trademark registration applications.
d) I can provide advice regarding filing copyright registrations in the United States Copyright Office, as well as advice regarding allegations of copyright infringement. As a licensed attorney I can draft, file, and prosecute copyright registration applications.
e) I can provide general advice regarding starting and operating a business of any size, including tech startups. I can review contracts of almost any kind.
f) I do not do criminal law, immigration law, real estate law, securities law or probate law. I can help you find the legal resources you need if I’m not the right person to provide them!
2) Who Can Hire Me
Anybody, really, even if you don’t live in Illinois or even the United States, or aren’t a United States citizen. If you don’t live/do business in Illinois, I can still provide advice regarding Federal questions like patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
3) Pro Bono Work (aka, “Finances Are An Issue.”)
I provide pro bono representation – legal advice at a reduced rate or for free – when I can and where appropriate. If you have legal questions and money is an issue, please contact me. If I can help you I will. If I can’t, I will help you find the legal resources you need. I will never, ever judge you for asking.
(Well okay if it turns out you’re really rich and you’re just cheap, I might judge you a little bit.)
4) How To Hire Me
It’s very easy. All you need to do is send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
a) Your name and the name of your corporate entity if you have one.
b) Your address, the address of the corporate entity, and your country and state of residence as well as the country and state of incorporation of the corporate entity.
c) If you have a corporate entity and you are not the president, I need the name and address of the president of the corporation as well.
d) A general description of the assistance you need and if someone has taken or is threatening legal action against you, the name of the other party. This should be no more than a few sentences: if I can help you, I’ll ask for more specifics.
Any information you send me is confidential, but please don’t send more than a very basic summary of the problem until I’ve agreed to represent you.
To be up front with my rates, here is what I charge as of January 2020. All rates are in US Dollars. Please note that I do a lot of pro bono consulting: it literally doesn’t hurt (and costs nothing) to ask. If you are a startup, special discounts may be available: please drop me a line and we can talk.
a) My base hourly rate is $350/hour. I can provide estimates as to the time needed for any particular matter in advance and will not go over them without explaining why I need to and getting authorization.
b) I offer fixed fees for filing US Trademark registrations: $400.00 for the search, $400.00 for filing the application and responding to non-substantive office actions, plus the filing fees the Trademark Office charges. If you do a search and then file, there is a single fee of $750.00.
c) I offer a fixed fee of $300.00 for preparing and filing a US Copyright registration and responding to non-substantive office actions, plus the filing fees the Copyright Office charges.
d) I offer a fixed fee of $600.00 for preparing and filing a US Design Patent application and responding to non-substantive office actions, plus the filing fees the Patent Office charges. If you cannot do your own illustrations I can also provide those, but they are prepared by someone else and I pass the cost along to you on the invoice. (I don’t mark it up.)
e) If you want to discuss fixed fees for any other matter, I am open to discussion. Fixed fees for business setups, individual contract negotiations, and so forth may make more economic sense than hourly billing: please inquire!
f) Depending on the matter I may or may not ask for an up-front retainer. If I do it will be related to the estimated billing for the matter. Any retainer payments you make will be held in trust until the services are provided. If you end the representation, all unused retainer amounts will be refunded.
I accept payment by check, by wire or ACH transfer, by credit card via Square, PayPal, or in Bitcoin. (Yes, really.)