Is a big firm or a little firm the right fit for you?

There are patent firms of all types, big firms, small firms, specialty firms, and general practice firms.

Which type of firm is right for you?

So many choices

You have an idea you want to protect and begin searching for a patent attorney to help file a patent. In your search, you soon find that there are patent firms of all types, big firms, small firms, specialty firms, and general practice firms. Which type of firm is right for you?

Different purposes

Each type of firm serves a different purpose and a different market segment. Big law firms are for businesses with a lot of money that want the big law firm name associated with the patent work. They want to show the world they mean business and only hire the best. The big law firm appears threatening to competitors and can ward off smaller competitors from coming into their space.

If you are a large company, a large firm with a threatening reputation may be best for you. A general practice firm may also be beneficial because as a big business, you will likely have other legal needs that need to be addressed, and the large general practice firm can handle all of your needs in one centralized location.

Expensive

For startups and small businesses, however, large general practice law firms may not be the best option. The big expensive offices, the nice cars in the parking lot, and the “free” lunches cost big firms a lot of money, which they pass on to you. For a startup or small business, a small specialty firm may be the best option to help you with your patents.

While their offices may not be as flashy and they may not take you out for a steak dinner, the small firms will be able to offer more competitive prices, one-on-one service, and specialized expertise for your needs. They will be more incentivized to provide the best value for your money as they cherish your business.

Best Value

Having worked at both large law firms and small law firms and as a small business owner myself, I understand the need to get the best service at the best value, and this can be found at small specialized firms. One word of caution with small specialized firms.

Sometimes, the firm is small because it wants to be small so that it can help startups and small businesses while other times it is small because it does not do good work or take care of its clients. When looking for a small specialized firm, interview a few different firms. Ask each firm if they have a couple clients you can talk to about their experience with the firm. This extra few minutes can help you find a good firm that fits your needs and will take care of you.

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