The USPTO Provisional Patent Filing Fee

The US Patent and Trademark Office (uspto) charges a provisional patent filing fee which is an integral component of the process of patenting your invention. Knowing how much this fee will cost can help you decide if it’s worthwhile to file for such a patent.

Your invention’s fee will depend on its type and complexity. Generally, the more intricate your invention, the higher the fee will be.


The cost of filing a patent application with the USPTO can vary significantly based on several factors. The invention, its complexity and desired level of protection will all influence what obtaining a patent will cost you.

On average, patent applications cost anywhere from $15,000 to $45,000 when filed with the intent to gain meaningful and strong protection. This estimate assumes that an excellent application is submitted with this goal in mind.

Another factor that may influence the cost of a patent is how much prior art innovation needs to be considered during preparation. Generally speaking, the more innovations need to be considered, the more work will be required and thus, higher will be the cost associated with filing for that patent.

During the drafting process, your patent attorney is responsible for collecting information about your invention and creating a comprehensive draft of the application. They will also communicate with the Patent Office throughout this stage. The cost to draft an application can range anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on its size and complexity.

Once an application is submitted to the Patent Office, it can take some time for them to review it. This can be a lengthy process and it’s common for applicants to receive rejections from the Patent Office in the form of Office Actions.

In the event that a Patent Examiner rejects all or some of your claims, you can submit a Request for Continued Examination (RCE). This will ask that the examiner reconsider your application and assess whether your invention deserves patent protection.

Once the examiner accepts your application, it will be assigned a filing date. This date sets out the earliest possible opportunity for you to secure legal protection for your invention.

After filing, you will be required to pay an issuance fee before your patent can be issued by the USPTO. At present, this fee for a utility patent is $480 for small entities and $310 for large or micro entities.

Once a patent has been granted, you will have legal protection for your invention for two decades from its filing date. This will enable you to legally prevent others from copying or using your invention without your authorization.


In light of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (uspto) is implementing a deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program. This new option aims to facilitate faster exchange of technical data about inventions that address COVID-19 at lower costs while still safeguarding inventor rights.

Throughout the course of prosecution, claims may be rejected or accepted by the USPTO. Such decisions will likely necessitate additional fees such as examination charges and any associated attorney’s fee.

Therefore, applicants who file an RCE during this timeframe should ensure they have made all necessary corrections to their original application in order to prevent future issues. This could include filing a corrective request for continued examination, paying a fee to extend the timeframe, and paying another extension fee in order to extend until a nonprovisional patent can be filed.

It is essential to review the current fee schedule before paying any fees. Furthermore, certain fees can be discounted for micro and small entities.

For instance, if you qualify as a small entity, the patent filing fee for nonprovisional patents will be discounted. To take advantage of this benefit, you must confirm your status by signing a declaration when paying your fee.

Be aware that if your business is a multinational corporation, then the small entity status cannot be claimed. Furthermore, licensing your patent to another company would constitute inequitable conduct and could void all of your patent rights.

If your nonprovisional patent is denied, you have the option of appealing to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Unfortunately, this process can be complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, USPTO may charge a reexamination fee in order to reconsider their rejection of your application.

Reexamination can be a time-consuming and costly process, particularly if you lose your case. Therefore, consulting with a lawyer before filing this appeal is recommended.

Filing a Request for Continued Examination (RCE)

Provisional patents offer an economical solution for applicants needing to file a patent application in the U.S., as well as inventors a convenient filing date. The USPTO charges a filing fee of $280 for large entities and $140 for small and micro entities alike – making them ideal for low-cost inventors looking for protection of their inventions.

As an applicant, you may be uncertain when to file for continued examination (RCE). Filing an RCE is often required by the USPTO in the event that additional claims need amendments or arguments. This makes the timing of filing your RCE an important consideration.

Another advantage of an RCE is that it may save an applicant’s place in line for a patent, especially when an examiner has recommended they submit one. Furthermore, if someone has previously filed an RCE but been unsuccessful, it could be worth considering filing another one.

The primary requirement for filing an RCE is that both the fee and submission be done timely. This means they must be filed within the statutory period for reply, which is two months after the Office action has been issued.

In the event that both fees and submissions aren’t submitted in time, the Office will treat them as an improper RCE. In such cases, technical support personnel should create a “Notice of Improper Request for Continued Examination (RCE),” Form PTO-2051.

This letter should be sent to the applicant and indicate that they must file a submission in accordance with 37 CFR 1.111 before prosecution can resume and that the RCE will not extend the period for reply.

Furthermore, if a submission has not been received in time to continue prosecution of an application under the RCE, then the Office will withdraw the finality of the office action issued and reopen prosecution. However, this occurs only if the application has been allowed and an RCE was timely filed with the fee set out in 37 CFR 1.17(e) with a submission that meets all other requirements as specified by 37 CFR 1.114(d).

An RCE can be a wise decision when you want to implement the amendments or arguments your examiner has suggested. Not only does this save time and money, but it also prevents wasting the work that has already been done on your patent application.

Extension Fees

A provisional patent application is an essential first step towards securing a utility patent. It offers you protection for around twelve months while you prepare to file your non-provisional patent application in order to receive full ownership of your innovation.

For a provisional application with the USPSTO, the fee is $280 (undiscounted), $150 for small entities or $75 for micro entities. This price also includes any attorney/agent fees necessary to prepare the application.

If you have more than three independent claims or 20 total claims, as defined in 37 CFR 1.16(f), you may be charged an “excess claims” fee as set out above. For each independent claim in excess of three and each dependent claim in excess of twenty (whether independent or dependent), you must pay the applicable fees as outlined above.

Fees for patent examination are determined by the number of independent claims and amount of work necessary. You may defer payment of these fees if you wish publication of your technical subject matter in a text-searchable online collaboration database maintained by the USPTO, provided you do not include a benefit or priority claim in an adjacent later-filed utility application.

You have the option to defer payment of the basic filing fee until a nonprovisional application that claims the benefit of your provisional application is filed. This is an advantageous choice if you need to file quickly but are uncertain that you will have enough funds in hand within 10 months after filing.

However, it’s essential to note that if you fail to draw attention to a Federal Register notice setting an earlier fee payment date for your provisional application within one year of its filing date, then the basic filing fee will still be due and substantial processing delays could ensue.

Under the UAIA, false claims of small entity status in order to receive a fee reduction can be punished with fines not less than three times what was failed to pay due to such falsehood.