Why Every CEO and General Counsel Should Be Considering Fixed-Fee IP Services

2 minutes

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Picture of Andrew Rapacke
Andrew Rapacke is a registered patent attorney and serves as Managing Partner at The Rapacke Law Group, a full service intellectual property law firm.

One of the biggest challenges businesses face every year is figuring out how to extract the most value for every dollar that gets spent. Return on investment is crucial to a company’s bottom line, and when businesses are looking to tighten the reins on spending, they often look to their budgets for potential savings and cuts. Reviewing and revising budgets is a good business practice as it allows the company to reevaluate how certain aspects of their business are operating.

For many businesses, intellectual property forms a major company asset and management of those IP assets requires an intellectual property (IP) legal budget. Companies know that they need IP assets to help create and maintain a competitive advantage, but the IP budget can be one of the largest and most unpredictable line items because most IP law firms charge by the hour. Are there any other options available to businesses that are looking to maximize their IP budgets? The answer might take the form of a fixed fee payment structure for IP legal services.

Fixed Fee As An Option For IP Legal Needs

Some IP law firms, like The Rapacke Law Group, offer fixed fee legal services. A fixed fee structure is designed to offer businesses several benefits. For starters, a fixed fee arrangement provides transparency and certainty for business clients. You know what your IP-related legal costs will be up front, and are unlikely to face any surprise charges or fees later down the road (unless there are extenuating circumstances). The benefit of knowing the fixed cost of IP legal expenses in advance allows for companies to manage their legal budgets more efficiently.

Fixed fee is a way to obtain legal services packaged as a product for a given price. For instance, your business might need a set of three legal opinions, and a fixed fee law firm would charge $X dollars per opinion, regardless of how much time it takes for the attorney working on the opinion to do the work. For many businesses, a fixed fee IP legal fee arrangement is a valuable mechanism for getting the most leverage out of every dollar spent on IP legal matters.

Extenuating Circumstances

The most attractive aspect of a fixed fee arrangement is knowing the cost of your legal services up front. However, just like businesses need to protect themselves from risk, so do fixed fee lawyers. The only time that costs might be more than anticipated in a fixed fee arrangement is if there extenuating circumstances that are due to the fault or request of a client. For instance, if a business client hides or misrepresents information to their lawyer, and it results in substantially more work for the attorney, additional charges will apply. Another example would be if the client needs IP legal services in a hurry. For expedited legal work, fixed fee lawyers often charge a premium. For the most part, extenuating circumstances are limited, and are often expressly including in the fee agreement.

Considering Whether Fixed Fee Is The Solution You Need? Call Us To Discuss

At The Rapacke Law Group, we understand the budgetary constraints that companies can face and that it is sometimes a challenge to keep costs under control. For some companies, a fixed fee arrangement for IP legal services might be a good solution. If you would like to learn more about how our fixed fee structure works, please feel free to give us a call.  

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