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      July 7, 2020

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Thoughts to Paper vs Legal Zoom

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 Zoom.

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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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4.5 stars
Legal Zoom

LEGAL ZOOM

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Cost:

Starting at $199

Since 1999, LegalZoom has made low-cost legal help available to every American, not just those who can afford expensive attorneys. In those 2+ decades, the company has helped nearly 4 million people with their legal needs, ranging from business issues like forming an LLC or registering trademarks to personal situations like estate planning and designating a power of attorney. LegalZoom has a fantastic track record for customer service, as demonstrated by their "A+" rating with the BBB.

One aspect of this service that we really love is that LegalZoom doesn't limit you to certain packages of services when putting together your patent application. You'll pay $199 for your Provisional Application for Patent, which includes three basic steps: complete their online questionnaire, including an illustration of your invention, then LegalZoom completes and compiles your application, and finally they file it on your behalf with the USPTO. That's it! If you have any questions while you're working on your paperwork, US-based LegalZoom agents are available through their toll-free number on a very generous schedule: weekdays from 5a-7p Pacific and weekends from 7a-4p Pacific.

On a side note, be aware that if you are patenting a chemical composition or biological/biotechnological invention, you'll pay an extra $690 for review and preparation by a USPTO-registered agent or attorney.

Your one-time fee includes digitization and color adjustment of your technical drawings. You also are protected by LegalZoom's Peace of Mind Review: in other words, your application is reviewed by an actual human being, to make sure that your information is complete, spelled correctly, and so forth.

Do you need more services than that? Unlike many of their competitors, which require you to pay for a bundle of features that you may not even use, LegalZoom lets you pay a la carte just for what your unique situation requires. Some of these services include:

  • Professional review and preparation ($390): includes drafting of one independent patent claim, plus coordination of as many as 4 pages of technical illustrations
  • Professional illustration ($399)
  • Patent search ($299)
  • Speaking with an independent attorney (cost varies)

No matter which legal service you use, this company guarantees you'll be satisfied with them as "the best legal document service on the web". While they can't guarantee your patent will be accepted, they promise that if you're unhappy with any of the professional aspects of their service, you can make a claim within 60 days of your purchase and get the problem fixed, get a refund, or receive credit towards other services.

LegalZoom is affordable, reliable, and efficient when it comes to Patent Application Services. You'll only pay for the specific features that you need, which could save you a decent amount of money compared with rival companies who bundle their services. This continues to be one of our favorite choices for most legal needs, including patent applications.

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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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