2011 AIPLA Economic Survey

The cost of legal services will vary, depending upon the expertise of the attorney, market rates in a given area, and the unique aspects of a given project. In an attempt to provide a rough gauge on the expected costs in a given market and law firm size, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) issues a yearly economic survey of their membership.

This year’s survey provides some interesting insight into patent reexamination practices. For example, the average cost of an ex parte patent reexamination request in the U.S. is just under $19K. On the other hand, the average cost of an inter partes patent reexamination is $46K. These numbers are an average of all law firm sizes and geographical regions, and pertain to preparation of a typical request only.

From start to finish (reexamination request filing  to CAFC appeal), the cost of an inter partes patent reexamination proceeding is estimated to be $278K. (ex parte cost was not provided) Contrast this expense with the average cost of a patent litigation to the CAFC, estimated by the AIPLA to be $ 3 million for a low stakes case (i.e., less than $25 million at stake) and $6 million for a higher stakes case.

Contact the AIPLA for the full survey and detailed break down by region, and firm size/expertise.