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      June 7, 2020

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Thoughts to Paper vs Legal Match

Best Patent Application Services

To help you find the Best Patent Application Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Thoughts to Paper and Legal Match.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Patent Application Services, please Click Here

What's the best Patent Application Service? If you've come up with a brilliant idea and want to make sure it's legally protected, getting a patent filed is an essential step. But first, you should understand the differences between patents and other types of protection, like copyright and trademark.

Copyrights are used to claim ownership of a creative expression, like a book, song, or even a piece of computer code. Trademarks are used to protect a brand name, business name, or logo from being used by other companies. On the other hand, patents deal with innovations: a utility patent covers how an invention works, and a design patent protects how it looks.

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Best Reviews

2020

Patent Application Reviews

5 stars
Thoughts to Paper

THOUGHTS TO PAPER

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Cost:

From $199 to $699+

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award If you've got an invention you want to patent, you want it cared for carefully and by a team of experts, right? It's not unlike having your first child: you want the best pediatrician, one who really knows their stuff, not just some doctor who might work with kids once in a while. Thoughts to Paper is like having the world's best resource on patents on your speed dial, ready to help you see your creation safely through its infancy and get it legally protected - and patents are the only thing they do, unlike many other services that spread their focus across many types of legal situations.

With respect to patents, this company makes it very clear what they do (help you patent your invention with quality professionals) and what they don't do (invention promotion). In other words, Thoughts to Paper will help you take each and every step you need to protect your invention, but getting it noticed and maybe even bought or invested in will be up to you.

Now that we've got that cleared up, let's look at the wide range of services you'll get from this Patent Application Service. Within the scope of patent applications, here are your options:

  • Provisional Utility Patent Application: like all provisional applications, this covers you for 12 months. It protects how your invention works. You'll pay $199 for the Basic plan, $449 and up for the Essentials package, and $699+ for the Professional plan. The higher two packages include phone and email consultations with a patent practitioner, along with varying levels of professionally-drafted writing and/or drawings to include with your application.
  • Non-Provisional Utility Patent Application: when you're ready to convert your provisional coverage into a non-provisional patent, this is what you'll need. It protects how your invention works for 20 years, but expect to spend a lot more (i.e. $3000+).
  • Non-Provisional Design Patent Application: this covers the exterior design and shape of your invention for 15 years. This protects how it looks, not how it works. While not as expensive as a utility patent, you should still expect it to cost $890 and up.

What about extra services? You guessed it: Thoughts to Paper has those too. Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • Patent Search ($295): this lets you find out what already exists, to see how patentable your creation is. It also means you can "invent around" what's out there, to increase your own invention's likelihood of being approved for a patent.
  • Patent Valuation ($800): maybe you already have a company in mind that would be the perfect buyer for your invention. This service helps you determine what your patent would be worth to that specific business.
  • Business Plan ($600-$1200): need some help planning the business end of your invention, like pitching to prospective investors and partners, or making a profit? This feature is for you.
  • Marketing Campaign (fees vary): Thoughts to Paper does the work to find businesses that might want to buy or license your patent application. You have to have a patent application already on file to use this service.

If all of that doesn't have you convinced that this Patent Application Service is amazing, we invite you to have some fun on their Obtained Patents page. Most of it was well over our heads, to be honest, but it was interesting to see specific patents across a wide spectrum of industries - all brought to pass with Thoughts to Paper's help.

We really like the site's Knowledge Center, especially if you're new to the patent process and want to get some background information before getting started. Do you know the three criteria for getting something patented? What about international protection with a provisional patent application? You'll find all of that and more in Thoughts to Paper's easy-to-read articles.

Clients give this Patent Application Service very high praise. (Our favorite comment said that this company offers "Rolls Royce workmanship at Chevrolet prices"!) Across the board, customers say that the service they receive is more than worth the money spent - and seeing those kinds of compliments from inventors who have used other services in the past is particularly compelling. With over 60 pages of customer testimonials, plus an "A+" rating with the BBB, there's not much room for doubt that Thoughts to Paper is the absolute best resource for anyone looking to file a patent application.

Remember how we said you probably want only the most trusted, knowledgeable resource for taking care of the invention you've poured your heart and soul into? Thoughts to Paper is that resource: affordable, expert help that has already been trusted by numerous inventors just like you. This is our first choice for Patent Application Services.

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3 stars
Legal Match

LEGAL MATCH

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Cost:

Varies

If you want to find a lawyer that can handle your Patent Application needs, LegalMatch does just that. In business for more than 20 years, this service has helped with millions of legal cases in a variety of situations.

Getting started with LegalMatch only takes a few steps: choose the category of legal help you need (in this case, Intellectual Property), enter your zip code and then click on the corresponding city in the dropdown box, and then click on the box that says Patents on the next page.

After that, you'll come to a screen that has optional questions specific to Patent Applications. While you don't have to fill them in, providing specific details will give any interested lawyers a better understanding of your needs.

Finally, enter your contact information and create an account. During this part of the process, you have the option of releasing your contact information to lawyers - which will give you a faster response - or choosing to screen any interested attorneys who respond to your case.

Once you've created your account, you'll come to a screen that gives you a cost estimate. In our area, the typical fee quoted was $150-$300/hour for Patent Application Services. That's definitely a lot more expensive than the other providers in our review.

The next page lets you choose a preferred initial consultation time. We noticed that the calendar defaulted to a date three months in advance, but we were able to go back and even choose today's date if we wanted. Selecting a consultation time is optional; just click the link under the calendar if you'd rather not put in a date and time.

From there, you'll get a dashboard for any interested attorneys to respond - and there was one already there when we were taken to that page! That's probably an automatic response generated simply because we were looking for a lawyer to help with patents. The attorney in that response offered a 30-minute initial consultation for no extra charge. But, he wasn't located in our state - or even in our time zone - so there was definitely no in-person service available.

LegalMatch has a strong reputation, including an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, if you're looking for a service that lets you work through all of the steps of Patent Application - without having to screen and personally choose an attorney - this service isn't going to be a good fit for you. Plus, because the fees vary based on the lawyer you choose, you may wind up paying a lot more money to get your patent filed, compared with the other services in our review. In fact, the only reason we'd recommend using LegalMatch is if you already know that your preference is to work directly with a lawyer instead of trusting an online Patent Application Service.

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Continued from above

So, if you've just dreamed up the latest and greatest thing that will revolutionize the world - or if you've just come up with a component that will improve one specific industry - you're on the right track if you think you need to register your patent! But, how do you go about it? Paperwork, filing, fees, and more: if you're not confident that you know all of the steps and when to take them, that's where Patent Application Services come in.

These services vary, from bare-minimum providers that give you the forms to download along with a list of instructions, to companies that have plenty of experience with walking clients through every single step of the process until the patent is officially registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Of course, all of these services come at a cost, in addition to the fees you'll need to pay to the USPTO (which are usually between $70 and $280, depending on your entity size). Fortunately, when you consider the time and stress it will save you to take advantage of a Patent Application Service, rather than muddling through on your own and risking costly mistakes, it's generally well worth the money you'll spend.

As you look over the different Patent Application Services on the market today, how can you tell which one is the best fit for your invention? Here are several factors to consider before making your choice:

  • Services Offered. If you're fairly confident in navigating the patent application process, you may just need a basic DIY service that gives you access to the applicable forms and not much more. On the other hand, if you would like a little hand-holding for your peace of mind, and maybe even direct access to an attorney for any questions you have, a full-service provider will be a better fit.
  • Value. Some Patent Application Services cost less than $50, while others are well over $500. But, you get what you pay for: make sure that any provider you select is giving you your money's worth. It may be a good idea to pay more upfront for a more robust plan, instead of going for the least expensive option and then winding up having to pay more to get extra help.
  • Reputation. What do previous clients say about the Patent Application Service? Is help available when needed? Have there been any complaints or complications reported?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Patent Application Services on the market today. We hope this information guides you to the service that will get your patent registered accurately and efficiently, to protect the hard work that went into creating your latest brilliant idea!

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