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Author Topic: Partner Review Time  (Read 801 times)

1099

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Partner Review Time
« on: 10-16-17 at 05:19 pm »

Would anyone care to provide some feedback for what is average for a partner's time for hours spent on 
1. Average nonprovisional application. (15-30 pages, 4500-9000 words) for an app drafted by experienced patent attorney (4-5 years experience), assume partner did not interview the inventor.
2. Average response (e.g., no more than 20 claims and no more than 3 independent claims) for an average nonprovisional application (see above) for a response drafted by experienced patent attorney (4-5 years experience). 

I am doing some fixed fee patent prosecution and am in middle of negotiating a contract with a patent law firm.

If answering, please answer with one decimal place.   

Thanks,   
« Last Edit: 10-16-17 at 05:33 pm by 1099 »
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1099

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Re: Partner Review Time
« Reply #1 on: 10-17-17 at 08:46 pm »

OK, I'll be a little more specific.  Partner is telling me that 2.5 hours are needed to review responses to Office Actions, which amounts to 1/3 of budget. 

Seems way high to me when partner and clients like my work, changes to my draft responses are minimal. 

Any thoughts?   
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fewyearsin

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Re: Partner Review Time
« Reply #2 on: 10-17-17 at 09:54 pm »

OK, I'll be a little more specific.  Partner is telling me that 2.5 hours are needed to review responses to Office Actions, which amounts to 1/3 of budget. 

Seems way high to me when partner and clients like my work, changes to my draft responses are minimal. 

Any thoughts?   
2.5 hrs is for a new guy.  If you've been doing this for more than a year, you should see review time more like 0.2-0.5, maybe up to an hour depending on complexity and if changes are needed after the first review.
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1099

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Re: Partner Review Time
« Reply #3 on: 10-18-17 at 02:49 pm »

Thanks, thought 2.5 hours was really high.  Been doing this years now and changes are minimal.  Does anyone think 2.5 hours for response to office action review is reasonable or close to reasonable?     
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NJ Patent1

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Re: Partner Review Time
« Reply #4 on: 10-19-17 at 06:36 pm »

If I understand your situation, you are contracting with a law firm for “piece work” on a flat fee basis.  Who’s flat fee?  Yours?  Firms?  Both?  If you are any good (and if not who wants you in this situation?), 2.5 hrs to review a Reply to an OA seems like a lot unless it is truly a complicated case (4+ substantive rejections).  The 2.5 (every case or just this one?) may be just the firm’s expected margin on every case .  But I have trouble with a high volume flat fee firm really worrying that much about “quality” to spend more than 1 – 1.5 reviewing.  Sorry mate, to quote the Untouchables; “what are you [really] prepared to do about it?”
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klaviernista

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Re: Partner Review Time
« Reply #5 on: 11-02-17 at 11:46 pm »

This might seem a bit off base, but - who is signing these responses?  You, or the reviewing partner?

If it's the latter, there are some attorneys I know who will not sign anything without substantively reviewing it (or at least being paid a reasonable amount for taking responsibility for the response by signing it).

Also - most partners I know won't engage contract counsel unless they are making at least the same or similar amount off that arrangement as they would expect to make using a normal associate.  In that regard, many law firms are set up based on a 33/33/33 structure.  Namely  33% of revenue goes to overhead, 33% goes to associate compensation, and 33% goes to profit (partner compensation).  If a partner is outsourcing work to contract counsel, they still want their 33% of the pie.  If they can't get that using contract counsel, they would probably hire a part time or full time attorney to do that work, particularly if they are sending a reasonable amount of work to contract counsel. According to the 2017 AIPLA economic survey - the average charge for an OA response is ~$2500.  Assuming that is the fixed fee and assuming a billable rate of $300/hour (a reasonable assumption given AIPLA's survey results for billable rates), that means that roughly 7 hours of attorney time can be spent on an OA before the attorney/firm starts to lose on the fixed fee arrangement.  One third of 7 is 2.3 hours, which looks awfully similar to the "partner cut" you are seeing. 

Put in other terms - the review time indicated by the partner in your arrangement may not really reflect the amount of time the partner expects to spend on your cases.  Rather, it reflects the amount of money he/she expects to make from the OA responses that you prepare.
« Last Edit: 11-03-17 at 10:58 am by klaviernista »
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This post is not legal advice.  I am not your attorney.  You rely on anything I say at your own risk. If you want to reach me directly, send me a PM through the board.  I do not check the email associated with my profile often.
 



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