To make a new product, an inventor has to come up with an original idea. Patents protect these inventions from copying.
This calculator estimates the total costs associated with preparing and filing a patent application. It includes attorney fees and current United States Patent Office (USPTO) fees.
These fees are combined into a fee unit expense estimate using the expense build up method.
The cost of filing a patent application depends on the complexity of the invention and technology. For example, computer and software technology require much more detail in describing the architecture, algorithms, and sub-routines involved. This increases the attorney fees considerably.
A professional patent search can cost thousands of dollars depending on the scope or breadth of research, number of countries searched, and types of prior art analyzed. This is a necessary step to determine whether or not your invention is unique enough to be patented.
After a patent is granted, the owner must pay maintenance fees at 3-3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years after registration. These fees are designed to encourage additional private research investments in the patented technology.
A good patent attorney will prepare a comprehensive specification that describes your invention thoroughly. The more compete your description, the more valuable your patent will be.
You will want to provide free-hand sketches and drawings that illustrate your invention in as much detail as possible. A clear picture is worth a thousand words.
You will also need to draft a complete set of claims. Think of the claims as a game of Jenga: if a competitor knocks one down, you want to have a tower of strong independent claims that cover your invention and keep competitors away.
Depending on the patent office, filing can cost a lot. It can be best for entrepreneurs to avoid rushing to file, especially in jurisdictions like India that have deferred examination systems.
Getting a non-provisional utility patent application usually costs $8,000 or more to prepare and file, plus attorney fees. It can also be expensive to obtain a design patent. These typically protect the look of clothing, furniture and medical products.
It’s possible to save money on application fees by qualifying as a micro-entity or small entity. In Europe, it’s also possible to pay less by obtaining a patent through direct mode. This allows applicants to obtain a patent directly with the European Patent Office and has validity in six countries.
Inventors can spend a fortune on patent prosecution costs when their applications are rejected by the USPTO. There are a number of fees to appeal rejections, and even requesting a face-to-face meeting with the examiner can cost thousands of dollars.
Examination costs can also rise significantly if the invention has more than 20 independent claims, as fees for requesting examination increase with each additional claim. Expedited examination is available, but the process can still take a significant amount of time.
Other factors that affect patent prosecution costs include the size of a company and the type of invention. A design patent, for example, typically costs more than a utility patent.
Patent costs are highly variable and affected by a wide range of factors. The desired strength of a patent is one important factor that influences total costs. A patent that covers a broad geographic scope is typically more expensive to secure than a narrower patent.
The cost of drafting and filing an appeal brief is another significant expense associated with patenting. The cost can range from a few thousand dollars for simple inventions to tens of thousands of dollars for more complex inventions.
Ultimately, the appeal decision is made by the Board of Appeals and can result in a remand, new grounds for rejection by the examiner, reversal of the examiner’s rejection or affirmance of the examiner’s rejection.
Many people are unaware that there are ongoing costs associated with holding a patent. This is because maintenance fees (also known as patent annuities) must be paid at fixed intervals over the 20-year life of a patent.
Maintenance fees can be costly, but they are necessary to ensure that your patent remains viable and prevents others from infringing on your rights as a patent holder. It is important to consider the value of your invention when deciding whether or not to pay these fees.
It is also important to note that missing a payment deadline can cost you your patent. Approximately 50 percent of all patents expire because their owners neglect to pay these fees.