How Much Does it Cost to Get a Patent?: Everything You Need to Know

How much does it cost to obtain a patent? The cost of obtaining a patent depends, among other things, on a number of factors, such as the conception itself, the amount of work a patent attorney has to do to prepare and prosecute the patent application, the applicant’s objectives, and the nature of the previous ideas in the field.

The three fees:

  1. Attorney fees
  2. Professional drawing fees
  3. Patent office fees

Attorney fees are fees a lawyer does to prepare the application, negotiate with the patent office and secure a patent in your favor. Professional drawing fees for preparing a professional patent drawing for your patent application, if required. Patent office fees are fees charged by the government, such as maintenance fees, application and grant fees. Let’s now take a look at how much it costs to obtain a patent.

Industry Norms

In 2008, the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA) announced the following norm prices for having prepared a utility patent application:

  • To have prepared and registered an original application of minimum complexity (10 pages of specification, 10 assertions) by a IP depot with more than 100 IP professionals – $8,548.00
  • Mechanical cases (comparatively complex) – $11,482.00
  • Chemical/Biotechnology cases (comparatively complex) – $15,398.00
  • Computer/Electrical cases (comparatively complex) – $13,684.00

The above mentioned fees don’t cover government fees, like issue fees.

Utility Patent Applications

How much does it cost to obtain a utility patent application? The complexity of the concept is an enormous factor in determining the amount of work required – and the costs involved – to prepare a utility patent application. The costs of preparing a patent application are estimated below, depending on the complexity of the conception.

  • Very simple conception – $1,500 to $2,500
  • Simple conception – $2,500 to $3,500
  • Medium complexity conception – $3,500 to $7,500
  • Complex conception – $7,500 and above.

Every concept and patent situation is different. The literal costs vary depending on the wheel of fortune and may not fall within the ranges mentioned above. Most of the time, once they have the information about your conception and interpretation of your goals, they will be able to provide a concrete estimate cost for your application.

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Further costs are incurred after the registration of your patent application during the negotiation phase (patent prosecution), when the attorneys negotiate with the patent office about the scope of protection that must be granted to the patent. Consequently, patents are not immediately granted after the registration of a patent application. The patent office must examine the content of the patent application and decide whether it is worth having a patent or not. In this process, the attorney often has to negotiate with the Patent Office about the duration of the patent, by responding to Patent Office Acts.

The cost of answering Patent Office Acts (i.e. negotiations with the patent office) depends on the difficulty of the acts, as well as the number of concerns raised by the patent examiner in the office and the number of previous art references cited in the Office Act. The cost of analyzing, preparing and responding to an Office Act for patent execution can usually range from $750 to $3000. Once an Office Act has been filed, the attorneys will evaluate the response options and the costs associated with each option and let you decide how to proceed.

It may be necessary to respond to more than one Office Act in order to achieve the applicant’s objective regarding the scope of patent protection. Due to the existing backlog at the patent office, it may be necessary to negotiate with the patent office for two years before the negotiations even begin. Therefore, related charges will not be received immediately, and could be determined over many years, depending on how long it takes for the patent office to start analyzing the patent application.

If the patent examiner grants the patent application, the Government charges a fee for this grant, and once paid, the patent is issued.

After the grant of a utility patent, maintenance fees must be paid to the government every 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years in order for the patent to remain in force.

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Provisional Patent Applications

How much does it cost to obtain a provisional patent application? It has been suggested that a provisional patent application should be filed in the same way as a non-provisional application, except that these claims need not be attached to the provisional application. In some cases, the attorney will prepare at least one or more claims for a provisional application. Since assertions are not required and the government charges minimal registration fees for a provisional patent application, a superior provisional patent application costs about $700 to $2000 less than a non-provisional patent application.

There are many low-cost providers who will register any document you provide them as a provisional patent application. You can contact a patent attorney for suggestions and guidance on how to secure your patent, and this usually always involves rewriting, amending, adding and removing material from the primary materials provided by the applicant, so that the attorney has a starting point for drafting a patent application that passes through a quality standard.

Design Patents

How much does it cost to obtain a design application? It is usually cheaper to apply for a design application and have it approved. The cost of preparing a design application usually depends on the number and the cost of professional drawings. As designs depend to a large extent on what is shown in the drawings, professional patent drawings are essential for design applications. These applications can usually be prepared and registered for between $1200 and $1700. As with utility patent applications, additional costs may be incurred, e.g. during the patent execution for responding to the Office Acts and negotiations with the patent office. As with utility patent applications, the government charges a grant fee that must be paid in order for the design to be granted. Typically, the total cost of obtaining a design can range from $2000 to $3000. Maintenance fees are not required for designs.

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