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   Author  Topic: Lowball  (Read 1901 times)
Bill Richards
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Lowball
« on: May 1st, 2006, 7:04am »
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I have six-plus years of experience (prep and pros, plus some litigation in law firm and in-house) and just began a solo practice. A company contacted me recently about doing prep and pros for them. In their engagement letter, they propose a very low hourly rate (IMHO) and a low cap on prosecution (amounts to about 40 hours). I'd like to have the work, but have an idea my time is better spent developing clients that have a realistic value of my services.
« Last Edit: May 1st, 2006, 7:06am by Bill Richards » IP Logged

William B. Richards, P.E.
The Richards Law Firm
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Re: Lowball
« Reply #1 on: May 1st, 2006, 9:51am »
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What's your question?
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Re: Lowball
« Reply #2 on: May 4th, 2006, 9:54am »
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Take the work and when something better comes along quit and take that.
 
You'll be gaining experience and money while your working.  Moreover, they might give you more money after you work for them a while.
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Isaac
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Re: Lowball
« Reply #3 on: May 5th, 2006, 2:07am »
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If the rates being offered are low enough that you don't want to take the work, you might as well make a counter offer.   You might consider some limit to what prosecution you'll do in 40 hours.    
 
You might want to get some handle on how much work you are being offered.
 
Good luck with your new business.
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Isaac
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Re: Lowball
« Reply #4 on: May 6th, 2006, 8:54am »
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The catch with the counter-offer (which is also a good idea) is that they may be trying to evaluate your work inexpensively.
 
Put yourself in their position, they don't want to pay the full price for a patent which isn't any good.  For all they know the partner (or if you were a partner, the associate under you) at your last job did all the work.  By lowballing you they can get an indication of what you're capable of w/o having to spend a lot of money.  
 
So, if you have the time, consider taking some of the work and then renegotiating the price after you've done an application or two.  If they continue to try and lowball you then get rid of them politely and professionally.  E.g., due to a change in circumstances (whatever you can think of) your billable hour rate has changed and someone who is less expensive could devote more time to their work.  
 
Anyway, it's a judgement call whether to counter-offer or do some work and then counter-offer.
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