How much does it cost to receive a U.S. patent?
Clients commonly ask what is it going to cost to obtain a U.S. patent.
Clients commonly ask what is it going to cost to obtain a U.S. patent. Although costs vary from application to application, our experience in filing over two hundred patent applications for companies and individual inventors helps guide us in providing estimates to clients.
For a provisional application, the answer is simple. Provisional applications are not substantively reviewed by the Patent Office. Rather, a provisional application is a place-holder and a nonprovisional patent application must be filed within twelve months of filing the provisional.
In particular, the cost of obtaining patent protection can be sorted by the three phases in the process:
1) filing costs;
2) post-filing costs prior to patent issuance and
3) post-issuance maintenance fees if the patent is allowed and issues.
For U.S. design patents, which protect the aesthetic nature of a product, we typically inform clients to budget between $1,500 to $2,500 for the cost of filing, inclusive of our attorney fees, government fees, and drawing fees.
For U.S. utility patents, which protect the functional nature of products, we typically inform clients to budget between $5,000 to $6,000 for the cost of filing a non-provisional application, inclusive of our attorney fees, government fees, and drawing fees.
Provisional applications are a less expensive alternative to non-provisional applications due to lower filing costs and lower government fees. However, provisional applications are preliminary applications not subject to search and examination by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Within 12 months of the filing of the provisional, we must file a non-provisional application.
It is important to note that government fees vary depending on a number of factors, including client size and revenue, the number of claims, and whether expedited “Track One” accelerated examination is requested. For reference, the full government fee schedule of the USPTO can be found at: https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/fees-and-payment/uspto-fee-schedule#Patent Fees. Government fees are also adjusted periodically by the USPTO.
Because government fees vary and some inventions are more complex than others (and as a result require more attorney time and drawing fees), it’s important to keep in mind that your filing costs may vary from the above fees, which we’ll inform you in our initial consultation. Also, our fees can be found in our brochure at https://www.cortesilaw.com/pdf/Cortesi-Law-Brochure.pdf.
In addition to these filing costs, we typically recommend that clients engage us to perform a preliminary patentability search and provide a patentability opinion. We have found that searches help anticipate Patent Office rejections, tell us which features of the invention we should focus upon and help set client expectations. In addition, if we locate prior patents that are too similar to our client’s inventions, we have advised the client not to pursue patent protection, saving the client thousands of dollars. We offer patent searches and patentability opinions for a fixed fee of $1,500 per invention.
It is important to keep in mind that no search is perfect, we cannot search unpublished patent applications, and non-patent literature searches are usually cost-prohibitive. However, we have used the same vendor for all our patent searches for a number of years and have been pleased with his results. (We use a vendor, who searches on-site at the USPTO, to perform the searches and analyze the results ourselves).
After your application is filed, it is more common than not, especially with utility patents, that your application will be rejected at least one time during the application process. In addition, if the patent is allowed, a government issue fee is due. As a result, we typically tell clients to budget between $1,000 and $3,000 for legal fees after your application is filed, with higher fees being required if several responses and/or an appeal is necessary. Learn more about Examination of a U.S. Patent Application. It’s important to keep in mind that not all patents are allowed. Allowance and other statistics are available at the USPTO. See https://www.uspto.gov/dashboard/patents/
Once your utility patent is issued, to keep the patent active, maintenance fees must be paid 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after the patent is granted.
If you have any questions regarding the costs of your patent application, please do not hesitate to contact us.
In a future article, we’ll address the costs of filing international (PCT) patent applications.