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In order for an inventor to get an attorney to draft a patent for their invention, there is an initial consultation where the inventor discloses their invention to the attorney.

questions:

  1. What percentage of these initial consultations do not lead to the lawyer accepting the client's business?
  2. On Average, how many attorneys must an inventor disclose their invention to before finding one to accept their business?

These numbers are significant because an inventor never wants to disclose their invention to someone who will ultimately not accept their business?

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    This is not a direct answer to your question, but you can always ask a practitioner what proportion of their cases involve individual inventors (most of their client base is usually companies). This is to filter out those who will want to hear your idea just out of plain curiosity without seriously considering taking you on as a client. To maximize chances, you can also bring someone else's patent/application number and say your idea is similar to this one in field/complexity/abstractedness and first ask if the practitioner is interested in taking on a case of that general nature.
    – bhuff36
    May 11 at 8:40
  • Also not a direct answer. If you express or hint to a practitioner that you are concerned about the number of patent attorneys you disclose to, they will most likely not want you as a client. Client and prospective client confidently is ingrained.
    – George White
    May 12 at 13:41
  • @GeorgeWhite I think I would disagree with that statement based on experience. I have seen plenty of law firms going out of their way to reassure the client that confidentially is guaranteed, even by initiating to sign an, albeit, generic contract before moving forward. Why would any attorney assume that a client is sophisticated enough to know about client-lawyer confidentiality? It is quite likely that the client has never dealt with an attorney before. So if I was a client, I would be concerned if an attorney is concerned over my fears of confidentiality. May 12 at 18:42
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    As I see it, top things for inventors to worry about are that the idea is too abstract or already known or trivially obtainable from the prior art or not sufficiently useful in the marketplace to be able to yield a profit. If the patent system is correctly calibrated, the vast majority of "inventive" output can be expected to fall into one of these categories. By contrast, the probability that a practitioner will violate confidentiality is miniscule. It is really not worth worrying about given that you face such high risks from other factors when patenting inventions.
    – bhuff36
    May 13 at 14:32
  • Many firms avoid individual inventors. They are usually very price sensitive, and unfamiliarity with the process that can lead to unrealistic expectations. Very few attorneys will sign an NDA since it is a given, in their view, that they keep confidentiality.
    – George White
    May 13 at 17:56

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