It is with delight I’m announcing the start of my new law firm, The Mann Law Group. I started my own firm because I believed innovators and other start-ups, without the huge financial resources of large corporations, were at an extreme disadvantage in enforcing their intellectual property rights.

Hiring lawyers at high hourly rates made protecting the little guy’s rights impractical. I intend to provide such innovators an alternative.

The commercial landscape for patents and other intellectual property rights has changed dramatically over the past few years. America’s largest corporations develop new technologies and intellectual assets at breakneck speed and rely heavily on intellectual property laws to protect their investment.

Even in 2003, when the bottom had literally fallen out of the technology sector, over 86,000 patents were still awarded to companies in just eight key patent sectors alone (aerospace, automotive, biotech/pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computers, electronics, semiconductors, and telecommunications), as reported in Technology Review: MIT’s Magazine of Innovation.

Hundreds of thousands more have been awarded to cover new technologies and innovations generated by individual inventors, start-ups and entrepreneurs. In many instances, these patents and intellectual property innovations make up the key assets of new companies. Such individuals and companies stand ready to change the balance of power as they begin flexing their intellectual-property strength in an ever-demanding market.

Enforcing patent and intellectual property rights and protecting technological innovation can, however, be an extremely expensive proposition in today’s competitive business environment. Recent reports peg the average cost of taking a patent case through trial at $ 1.7 million per case.

Individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups rarely have the financial strength to absorb legal expenses of this magnitude. Large, well-established companies, on the other hand, can afford such expense and, therefore, have the advantage. As a consequence, many good cases, defenses, and claims are either never pursued or are settled for far less than their actual value.

I intend to level the playing field for smaller players. Recognizing that the traditional hourly fee-for-service billing arrangement used by most law firms is impractical and excessively burdensome for small-to-mid sized companies, start-ups and individuals, we’ll offer clients alternatives, such as contingency-fee billing arrangements, wherein the firm assumes much of the risk in return for a share in the success. Because fees are paid only out of monies ultimately received, this approach makes it practical for smaller clients to enforce their rights effectively against larger organizations having much larger legal budgets.

The Mann Law Group will offer a proven method of handling cases quickly and efficiently. The firm does this by combining years of relevant legal experience and expertise in various technologies, with common sense business acumen that avoids many of the procedural side shows that frustrate settlement, prolong proceedings and increase costs in intellectual property litigation. When needed, however, we stand ready to take cases to trial before a jury.

Our contingency-fee billing model, wherein fees are paid once success is achieved, makes it practical for smaller owners of intellectual property rights to pursue their valid claims, while avoiding the large fixed monthly retainers or high hourly legal fees they would otherwise face.