Patent Applications in Inflationary Times 2022

The annual inflation rate in the US reached 9.1% in June 2022, the highest level seen in over 40 years.

The most visible price increases are seen at the gas pump and in the grocery store, however, nearly every business in America has been impacted by rising prices, exacerbated by a labor shortage.

Business Responses to Inflation

There are three different ways that businesses typically choose to deal with inflation:

  1. Raise prices
  2. Accept smaller profit margins
  3. Reduce costs

Customers obviously don’t like it when businesses raise their prices, plus, of course, if every business raises its prices they are contributing to the spiral of continuing inflation.

Accepting smaller profit margins is a painful choice, and if a business has investors, reduced margins might not be acceptable to the investors. With law firms typically being partnerships, reduced margins are directly passed along to the principals of the firm, effectively meaning a pay cut. No one likes a pay cut, especially in times when prices are rising.

Reducing costs is in many ways the ideal solution, but how can a law firm reduce costs without impacting quality? All too often, reducing costs means cutting corners or taking shortcuts that impact either the quality of the work output, the efficiency of the organization, or both.

Outsourcing to the Rescue

Many law firms are discovering a technique long used by tech giants: offshore outsourcing.

Leading tech companies including Microsoft, CISCO, Amazon, Google, and IBM have long outsourced work to India, primarily software development and back-office work. Software developers in the US are three times the cost of software developers in India, and these leading companies have found they can successfully outsource without impacting the quality of their products.

Outsourcing also has the advantage of being very flexible. It’s much easier to put the burden of ramping up or down as business volumes fluctuate on an outsourcing partner than to have to hire or layoff internal staff.

Outsourcing Patent Drawings

Patent drawings are one cost element that patent firms face that is very easy to outsource with no compromises on quality.

Invention Patent Drawings has deep experience in patent illustration. Our illustrators have done over 5,000 patent drawings for clients around the world, primarily for the USPTO and European PCT. Quality control is performed by the head of our illustration team, who has over 14 years of experience in patent drawings.

We work quickly, with price quotes typically provided within 24 hours, and drawings completed within 3 to 4 days of the time we receive all required information. Our drawings typically do not need any additional iterations, but if they do we will provide as many as needed until the client is satisfied.

Simple drawings typically cost $30, complex ones $60. Once we quote a price, we honor it, even if it turns out to take more time and effort than we originally anticipated.


Inflation poses challenge for every business, including patent firms. Raising prices, reducing margins, and compromising on quality are all unacceptable responses for different reasons. Outsourcing can provide an excellent way to reduce costs without compromising on quality, allowing firms to avoid or minimize price increases.

For more information, or to give us a try on a sample project, please contact us. Our team is ready to be at your service.