Patenting your invention can be a confusing process, but we’re here to help you make sense of it.
Here are the top 5 questions we get asked about patenting costs:
- How much do patents cost?
- Why do they cost so much?
- How long does it take to get a patent?
- Do I need a lawyer to file for a patent?
- Does my idea qualify for a patent?
We will discuss attorney costs and options to save money. Preparing and filing your application yourself can save you money on attorney fees. However, it is important to note that the process can be complex and time-consuming, so use our free provisional patenting software tools to save you the learning time. Also, we recommend that you get a lawyer to review prior to filing, and having a well thought out application with our diagnostics can help improve your patent application. Read-on to understand the costs of patenting and how you can cut cost by doing some or all of the documentation.
Law Firm Pricing for Patents
The cost of obtaining a patent can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the type of patent, the complexity of the invention, and the experience of the attorney handling the application.
Here are some estimates of the costs you may encounter when obtaining a patent:
- Provisional patent application: $5,000 to $15,000
- Non-provisional patent application: $15,000 to $50,000
- Patent prosecution (working with the USPTO to get your patent granted): $5,000 to $25,000
- Maintenance fees (fees that must be paid to keep your patent in force): $1,500 to $4,000 every 4 years
According to the attorneys at BlueIron IP, the costs in 2019 are as follows:
It’s important to keep in mind that these are just estimates and the actual cost can be more or less depending on the complexity of your invention and the attorney you choose to work with. It is also worth noting that the cost of patenting can be reduced if the inventor chooses to file the application themselves.
It is also worth noting that there are different types of patent like utility patent and design patent each with their own cost and process.
It is always best to consult with a patent attorney to get a more accurate estimate of the cost of patenting your invention.
Why is patenting so expensive?
Patenting can be expensive for a variety of reasons. One reason is the complexity of the patent process. Obtaining a patent requires a thorough understanding of patent laws and regulations, as well as a detailed knowledge of the invention itself. This complexity can make it difficult for individuals to navigate the process on their own, leading them to seek the help of a patent attorney, which can add to the cost.
Another reason patenting can be expensive is the time and resources required to conduct a thorough patent search and examination. Before a patent can be granted, a search must be conducted to ensure that the invention is truly new and non-obvious. This search can be time-consuming and costly, as it may require reviewing a large number of patents and other publications.
Additionally, the patent examination process can be costly and time-consuming as well. The patent office will conduct a thorough examination of the patent application to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and that the invention is novel and non-obvious. This examination process can take several years and may require multiple rounds of revisions and resubmissions.
Lastly, the cost of patent maintenance is also a factor in the overall cost of patenting. Patents need to be maintained by paying maintenance fees, which are due periodically to keep the patent in force.
In summary, the process of patenting is complex and time-consuming, which can add to the overall cost. Additionally, the cost of patenting can also include the cost of hiring a patent attorney, conducting a patent search, and the cost of maintenance fees.
Provisional patent applications can be a low cost option
Provisional patent applications can help reduce the cost of patenting in a few ways:
- Lower filing fee: The cost of filing a provisional patent application is typically lower than the cost of filing a non-provisional patent application. This can help save money upfront.
- No requirement for formal drawings: Provisional patent applications do not require formal drawings, which can save money on the cost of preparing and submitting drawings.
- No requirement for claims: Provisional patent applications do not require claims, which can save money on the cost of drafting and submitting claims.
- Establish an early priority date: Filing a provisional patent application can establish an early priority date for your invention. This can be important if you later decide to file a non-provisional patent application, as it can help you secure a patent more quickly and cost-effectively.
- Test the market: Provisional patent applications can be a good way to test the market for your invention before incurring the cost of a full patent application. You can use the 12-month window to gauge interest in your invention and see if it’s worth investing in a full patent application.
But to gain these benefits, you should not file a “back-of-the-envelope” patent application. The proper way to do a provisional patent application involves the following steps:
- Conduct a thorough patent search: Before filing a provisional patent application, conduct a thorough patent search to ensure that your invention is truly new and non-obvious. This can help you avoid costly and time-consuming legal challenges later on.
- Prepare a detailed description of your invention: Your provisional patent application should include a detailed description of your invention, including how it works, how it is made, and how it is used. It should also include any relevant drawings or diagrams that help to explain the invention. If you have never seen a patent before, use free software such as those from Inventiv to help you do the provisional application, it’ll be much easier.
- File your provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Once you have prepared your provisional patent application, you can file it with the USPTO. It is important to ensure that your application is complete and compliant with all USPTO requirements.
- Include a cover sheet: A cover sheet should be included in your provisional patent application. This sheet will include your name, contact information, and the title of your invention.
- Include a specification: A specification is a detailed description of your invention. This should include a detailed description of your invention, including how it works, how it is made, and how it is used.
- Include any relevant drawings or diagrams: Any relevant drawings or diagrams should be included in your provisional patent application. These should help to explain your invention and its various components.
- Pay the filing fee: The USPTO charges a filing fee for provisional patent applications. This fee must be paid at the time of filing.
- Keep a copy of your application: It is important to keep a copy of your provisional patent application for your records. You should also keep a record of the date you filed your application and the USPTO application number.
It’s worth noting that a provisional patent application does not mature into an issued patent and it needs to be converted into a non-provisional application within 12 months of the provisional filing date. Additionally, the provisional patent application still needs to meet all the legal requirements of a non-provisional patent, so it is important to consult with a patent attorney to see if a provisional patent application is right for your invention and how it can help you reduce costs.
What can you do to reduce cost of patenting?
There are several ways to reduce the cost of patenting:
- Conduct a thorough patent search: Before applying for a patent, conduct a thorough patent search using free search tools at uspto.gov to ensure that your invention is truly new and non-obvious. This can help you avoid costly and time-consuming legal challenges later on.
- File a provisional patent application yourself using our free tool: Filing your application yourself can save you money on attorney fees. However, it is important to note that the process can be complex and time-consuming, so it is essential to have a good understanding of patent laws and regulations. Provisional patent applications are less expensive and less formal than non-provisional patent applications. Filing a provisional patent application can help you establish an early priority date for your invention, which can save you money in the long run.
- Hire a patent attorney with a fixed-fee: Hire a patent attorney with a fixed-fee instead of hourly rate, this can help you budget and manage costs more effectively.
- Be prepared: Before meeting with a patent attorney, prepare a detailed description of your invention and any relevant drawings or diagrams. This can help the attorney understand your invention more quickly and efficiently, which can reduce the overall cost of the patenting process.
- Consider international patenting: Applying for patents in multiple countries can be expensive, so consider which countries are most important for your business and focus on protecting your invention in those markets.
- Monitor your patent conversion deadline: Keep track of your one year non-provisional patent conversion date and ensure your patent stays in force.
It is important to keep in mind that the process of patenting is complex and time-consuming, so cutting corners may not be the best approach. It is important to consult with a patent attorney to see if these suggestions can help you reduce the cost of patenting without compromising the strength and effectiveness of your patent.