Frequently Asked Questions
Tell me about the firm
The CRK hallmark is Big Law talent giving our clients Small Firm attention. We were founded in response to the changing needs of intellectual property owners. Big firm billing rates were too high for patent practitioners and litigators to provide high-quality services at a reasonable price. Large firms are designed for “all out war” litigations with billing rates that do not reflect the economic value of many cases. Solo practitioners and very small firms had low billing rates but tend to be set up only for commodity work (i.e., lower-cost patent services) and cannot support a typical litigation.
We knew we could solve the big-firm rate problem, without introducing the small-firm limitations. We were told it couldn’t be done. Less than ten years later, we’re tripled in size. Topnotch talent; high-quality patent services; reasonable rates. We’ve done it.
Our firm is headquartered in Center City Philadelphia. Our ability to attract and retain top legal talent is based on one core principle- we’re all about our people. We compensate our employees better than most big firms, so we can continue to attract the kind of talent clients have come to expect only from Big Law. We’re committed to keeping our billing rates as low as possible, so our attorneys can spend the time they need to produce exceptionally high-quality work product, within budgets our clients expect, without having to cut corners. We’ll never sacrifice quality to boost profits.
What does your typical fee arrangement look like?
We generally follow a billable hour model, but we are also more than happy to work with clients on alternative fee arrangements. Additionally, we work with each client to ensure that work is being performed by attorneys at the appropriate experience level and billing rate so that the client receives the highest level of work that also meets their cost expectations.
What more should I know about the firm?
CRK is one of the largest IP boutiques in the Philadelphia area. CRK attorneys are top-notch, having practiced in big law firms, but choosing now to practice in a mid-size firm to better serve their clients. Although our attorneys come from a variety of educational backgrounds, they all exhibit above average levels of empathy and communications skills. As a result, CRK attorneys are typically thinking about new ways to help our clients or keeping them in the loop on new developments.
What technical fields can you handle?
CRK has experience in diverse fields, including electrical, software, mechanical, chemical, and medical device technology sectors.
Due to our individual experiences and backgrounds, CRK is good at many things, but taken as a whole, two of our greatest strengths include patent portfolio management (e.g., serving as the global point of reference for patent prosecution and obtention of a group of patent families) and effective litigation defense against non-practicing patent entities.
What is your experience in digital health?
CRK’s team of digital health experts have advised some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, specialty chemical companies, and hospitals on how to navigate the digital health space. Our relatively large team of attorneys with backgrounds in electrical and computer-related arts have helped educate teams of excellent attorneys that have spent most of their careers working in the chemical or medical device space on the key differences in protecting innovation around software and computing devices.
“One of the biggest key differences in defending your products in the digital health space is that you need to build a portfolio that includes electrical, mechanical, and chemical features of a product or system, rather than a single patent focused on a device or method. Similarly, freedom-to-operate analysis and whitespace analysis is a bit less reliable in the digital health space, as you are not looking for one patent out there that covers your product. Instead, there are typically groups of patents that may be directed to a feature of your product or system (e.g., wireless communication patents that apply to a medical device). These key differences in the patent practice can be hard to explain to upper management at organizations that have traditionally operated in the chemical or medical device space. But, we have a lot of experience in doing just that!” – Ross Alexander, CRK Attorney
Can you handle international patent prosecution?
CRK maintains a network of relationships with local counsel in over 60 jurisdictions. We are used to setting the strategy for prosecution and directing it globally, in fact, is one of our core competencies.
Who are some of the clients you work for now?
Representative CRK clients include those from the telecom, electrical hardware, high-end lighting, finance, software, medical device, chemical, and consumer products industries.
CRK doesn't have the name recognition of the firms we usually use.
We aren’t a 100-year-old-firm, so that makes sense. However, most of our attorneys came from firms that have the name recognition you are used to using, so we bring to our clients the same level of talent. The difference is, because of our business model, CRK’s senior-level attorneys are able to give your cases the time and level of attention that they deserve to produce a higher-quality product.
Will my matter be handed from one attorney to the next as a result of attrition or turnover?
Unlikely. CRK has low turnover, which begins with the hiring process. We selectively hire the right people who want to make a career at CRK. Because our work environment is second to none, our compensation is extremely competitive, and CRK has eliminated the “up or out” philosophy, CRK attorneys want to work at CRK. The firm is also client focused and knows that attorney stability is important to a client. We do not pull attorneys off of a client’s matter just to work on another client’s matter.
Can I work at CRK?
Please visit our Careers section.
CRK is not a "big firm." Can I receive the same litigation value from CRK that a "big firm" can provide?
Absolutely. Most patent litigations are conducted with a team of 3-5 attorneys. Having hundreds of other lawyers provides no value. What is important is having the right 3-5 attorneys working on the case, not a firm with hundreds of people not working on your case.
Why should I hire CRK to defend me against an NPE suit?
NPE suits are nothing more than a business cost. We have cost-effective aggressive strategies for frivolous-nuisance cases that end the cases quickly with no or minimal settlement payment. Based on our litigation experience, we know the NPE’s pain points. Because we are smaller and flexible, we can provide a cost-effective approach that large firms cannot provide.
Why can CRK provide more cost-effective litigation services?
Judgement. CRK recognizes that every patent case is not the same, and the litigation costs should be in line with the litigation business goals. Because of our experience, we know what is important and what is not important in a patent litigation. Clients pay for values focused on the winning legal, factual, and equitable case theories. Clients do not pay for unnecessary levels of attorney review, needless disputes with the opposing counsel, and chasing down rabbit holes that are tangential to the case themes.
Why should I hire CRK for my post-grant proceeding?
Post-grant proceedings are a hybrid between a patent office examination and a litigation. The post-grant decision makers are technically trained administrative judges. The ideal person to persuade these technically trained judges is a person that is also technically trained, understands the patent office, and understands how the decision makers think and can respond to technical questions, but also has the litigation briefing, presentation, and oral argument skills. CRK has the right people with these backgrounds.
Does CRK have recent experience preparing opinions of counsel?
CRK attorneys have prepared several hundred formal opinions over the course of their careers. Many of CRK’s clients have continues to request formal opinions post-Seagate. As the case law on willfulness and opinions of counsel has evolved, so have we!
In any potential infringement scenario, we believe in evaluation the risk associated with a given patent and counseling our clients based on the level of risk. CRK leverages the latest patent analytics tools to help identify the level of risk associated with a given patent. We will help you decide whether a formal opinion is advisable, or whether other analysis can help mitigate risk.