Maiorana, P.C.

Registered Patent Attorneys

What Happens During an Initial Interview?


When we receive a call or email from a potential new client, we try to set up an initial interview. We use that interview to discuss your intellectual property issue, whether it is a patentable invention, a trademark, or a copyright issue. Other issues are also possible.

We charge a small fee for the initial interview, then apply the small fee to any future work that is done. In the case where the matter relates to a potentially patentable invention, we discuss whether a patent search is needed, or has already been done, and strategies used to move forward. We discuss whether the time and budget allows for a non-provisional filing, or whether a provisional filing is needed. I discuss that here.

In the case where the invention has been used publicly, we discuss whether there are any potentially “bar dates”. A bar date is an act that can start a strict time line to file a patent application. Some acts are different between filing in the U.S., and filing internationally. The U.S is typically more lenient. I discuss international filing here.

As you can see, there are a number of factors that need to be discussed and considered. Since we don’t know anything about the matter of a new client, we have a short series of questions that helps us focus on the most pressing issues quickly.

Anything discussed in the interview is subject to attorney/client privilege. Anything discussed with our staff is also subject to attorney/client privilege. This means that we can’t discuss your invention with anyone else. There is no need for an non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with an attorney.

To have an effective interview, it helps to bring photos, and copies of any documentation that you have. If the invention is mechanical, and you have a working prototype that is easily transportable, then please do bring it along. The more information you bring and provide to us, the better the outcome of the initial meeting.

After the initial meeting, we will send a follow-up letter that describes the overall process (e.g., the details of filing a patent application, which I discuss here). We also discuss what the next “action item” on your part will be. For example, if we recommend a search, then the next action item would be some sort of advance payment for the search. If we move right to filing a provisional or non-provisional patent application (discussed here), the next step might be an advance payment on the patent work, along with more documentation.

With all this in mind, we try to be efficient, in an effort to keep your overall costs down. In general, our services are of a substantially superior quality than other local or national patent attorneys, while our rates are very competitive. We are not going to be the cheapest patent attorney around, but we provide a significantly greater amount of value for our clients. Since we have secured over 1,700 issued patents for our clients, our expertise in working with the U.S. Patent Office is paralleled by only a very few practitioners. We hope you call us to set up your initial interview. MI - 586-498-0670 or CA - 408-890-6549.

  • Chris Maiorana
  • June 2017
[1]  A provisional patent application, or a provisional filing are sometime shortened to be called a provisional. A non-provisional patent application, or a non-provisional filing are sometime shortened to be called a non-provisional.
Topics: USPTO, patent application filing date, efficient Patent Lawyer, cheapest patent attorney, national patent attorneys, non-disclosure agreement (NDA), patent attorney/client privilege

If you would like us to analyze your particular situation, call us to set up an appointment to discuss starting an engagement. Please do not send confidential information prior to negotiating an engagement.