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      August 4, 2020

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  1. Legal Zoom
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Best Patent Application Services

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.

World's best resource

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.

Protect your invention

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.

Best Patent Application Companies

Wide range of services

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 (say, $3,000+).
  • 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.

Extra services

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-$1,200): 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.

Obtained patents

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. It was interesting to see specific patents across a wide spectrum of industries - all brought to pass with Thoughts to Paper's help.

Knowledge center

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.

High customer praise

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.

Highest rating

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, and they earn our highest rating.

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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.

3 step process

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:

  1. Complete their online questionnaire, including an illustration of your invention
  2. LegalZoom completes and compiles your application
  3. After review, LegalZoom files the application 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.

Best Patent Application Companies

Specialty patents

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.

Peace Of Mind review

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.

Extra services

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)
  • Speak with an independent attorney (cost varies)

Satisfaction guarantee

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.

One of our favorites

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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4 stars
Rocket Lawyer

ROCKET LAWYER

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Cost:

$39.99 per document for non-members

$39.99 per month for premium membership

7-day free trial

As the only membership-based Patent Application Service in our review, Rocket Lawyer could be a terrific option if you expect needing legal assistance in many different ways. Maybe you want to file for a patent, but you also want to incorporate your business, write up your will, or even sign a prenuptial agreement!

Free 7-day trial

Rocket Lawyer offers a free 7-day trial, making it absolutely risk-free to draft your patent application. If you'd prefer to try out everything they have to offer and decide if a membership is right for you, you can opt to pay $5 for a trial of the Premium plan. You may not spot this option until you've gotten all the way through your patent application; we didn't see the $5 Premium trial advertised anywhere else on the Rocket Lawyer site. At the end of the 7 days, you'll be charged $39.99 per month unless you cancel your account.

One-time fee

Alternately, if you only want to buy the documents needed for your patent application, you can also pay a one-time fee of $39.99. Doing the math, it seems like if you can't get everything you need in the 7-day trial, you'll pay the same whether you subscribe for a month - and get access to all of the service in Rocket Lawyer's library - or you just use their Patent Application Service.

Best Patent Application Companies

3 types of patents

When it comes to patents, there are three documents available through Rocket Lawyer: Provisional Patent Application, Patent Application Assignment, and Patent Assignment. That's not as many services as our highest-rated provider, but it's still more than enough to get your patent registered with the USPTO. Keep in mind that you'll have to file the documents yourself - Rocket Lawyer's service doesn't include doing that for you - but the process can typically be done very quickly online.

30 minute consultation

There are other reasons for considering a Premium membership. For example, you'll receive a free 30-minute consultation on each new legal matter in which you use their service. Have a question about how to form your LLC? Want to know if your drawings are clear enough for your patent application? You can see how convenient it would be to get a half hour of advice and help!

Document Defense

Another included feature is Document Defense. If something goes awry with your patent, Rocket Lawyer's on-call attorneys will review your situation and help you get your application back on track. If you wind up needing to hire an attorney, you can get 40% off the hourly fees when you hire a Rocket Lawyer professional.

Missing some extras

What comes up missing with Rocket Lawyer, compared with some other Patent Application Services, are the a la carte extras that some customers need. If you want professional drawings to include with your application, a patent search to determine if your invention is unique and likely to be granted a patent, or professional drafting of your invention claim, you'll have to find those services on your own. Not every inventor will need that kind of help, but it would be nice if Rocket Lawyer made it available, even if only on a referral basis.

Affordable, solid choice

Rocket Lawyer has helped over 20 million people access legal help in a way that's affordable, comprehensive, and guaranteed to be valid in all 50 states. If you're looking for a low-cost way to get your Patent Application completed, this is a good option. But, keep in mind that there are some services you'll need to take care of on your own, including the actual filing of your forms with the USPTO.

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3.5 stars
Find Legal Forms

FIND LEGAL FORMS

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Cost:

$39.95 one-time fee for downloaded forms

If you consider yourself a DIY kind of person and aren't scared by the process of filling out and filing legal documents, Find Legal Forms could be a good idea for you. Originally started by two lawyers in 2001, this service aims to offer legal assistance for the everyday consumer by providing access to affordable documents.

Combo Package

The most economical and comprehensive Patent Application Service with this provider is the Patent License Agreements & Assignment Combo Package. In this packet, which is available for immediate download, you'll get the following forms:

  • Patent Application Assignment Agreement
  • Patent Assignment Agreement
  • Patent License Agreement
  • Assignment of Interest in Patent, including from one co-owner to another

Form descriptions

On the Find Legal Forms site, there's a handy description of each of the forms, so that you understand their purpose in your patent application process. If you were to buy each form separately, you'd spend $63.75. But, with the combo package, you'll only pay $39.95: a savings of 37%.

Best Patent Application Companies

Attorney-prepared

All of the forms offered through this service are attorney-prepared and kept up-to-date for all 50 states. And, another helpful perk is that all of your application documents can be signed online; there's no extra charge for the eSignature service, and your John Hancock is just as binding as if you had signed with a pen on paper.

60 day money back guarantee

If you use Find Legal Forms for your Patent Application Service, you can rest assured that your purchase is protected by a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you're unhappy for any reason, you can get a full refund.

Best for do-it-yourselfers

This is definitely one of the most affordable ways to file for a patent, but is it the best for your needs? If you think you might need some one-on-one help with filling out the forms, figuring out where to send them, or answering any legal questions, you won't get that with this service. Of course, if your Google skills are good and you don't mind looking up the answers yourself, you could save a lot of money by using Find Legal Forms as your Patent Application Service.

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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

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.

Better understanding

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.

Best Patent Application Companies

Release or screen

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.

Expensive hourly rates

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.

Schedule a consultation

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.

Online dashboard

From there, you'll have access to an online dashboard where you can see responses from any interested attorneys - 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.

Good for personal attorney needs

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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1 star
The Patent Filing Company

THE PATENT FILING COMPANY

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Cost:

From $199 to $649

The Patent Filing Company is a promising name for a Patent Application service, right? At first glance, their services look robust: Provisional and Non-Provisional Patent Application Filing, Design Patent Application Filing, Patent Search Reports and Technology Reports are just a few areas where they offer help.

3 packages to choose from

Pricing with this service seemed pretty reasonable, too. As with all Patent Application Services, any government fees and/or taxes aren't included in those fees.

  • Lite package: $199, with immediate "patent pending" status for 12 months, a review of your application draft, filing with the USPTO, and email consultations with professionals.
  • Standard package: $499, but the only difference is that you get phone consultations as well, It's up to you to determine if that's worth an extra $300.
  • Advanced package: $649, which gives you access to professional invention drawings and specifications.

Things got weird

So far, so good. Then, we noticed that the URL for this company wasn't secure - which gave us some pause. So, we put our handy sleuthing skills to work, to see if we could find anything else out about The Patent Filing Company. Things only got weird from there.

Best Patent Application Companies

Jeans and tennis shoes?

We didn't find a Better Business Bureau listing for them, which seemed strange for a company with a Seattle address and a website copyright spanning four years. What we did find on their website, however, were several pages advertising jeans and tennis shoes. Huh? The text on the page was all "Greeked" (filled in to serve as a placeholder) and the prices were all listed in pounds. Not exactly what you expect - or want - from a Patent Application Service!

Most likely abandoned

One of our web development experts said that's a good sign that the site was being updated - or perhaps even abandoned. Given that the phone number for the site is a Chicago area code for a Seattle business, that's not too far-fetched. Testimonial page? Blank. Blog articles obviously written by non-native speakers of English? Not encouraging.

Run away, don't walk

So, would you trust your top-secret invention to a company that can't even seem to decide where they're located - or whether they're helping with patents or selling jeans? We wouldn't either. We're sure you'll agree that The Patent Filing Company has more than earned its last-place ranking among Patent Application Services.

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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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