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Farming patent applications out to law firms and choosing among them based on “events”

Corp. Counsel, June 2010 at 72, explains that Xerox farms out the work on its 1,000 patent applications to several law firms (See my post of Aug. 17, 2010: HP decides to move patent work in-house.). “When Xerox needs to pick a firm to handle a patent application, it looks at firms’ recent fees per event.” It is a plus for a firm to have charged the tech giant for fewer “events”.

This may mean that the company has set fixed prices or ranges of prices for various typical events in the patent-application process. Fewer events done by a firm, on average, translates to more efficiency and lower costs. For legal services that have well-known steps (events), costs and numbers of events start to converge over a number of matters. A law department can manage its expenditures through either method.