What is the ballpark cost for getting a patent? The cost for creating and filing a nonprovisional patent can be fairly nominal, if you do it entirely by yourself. Regretfully, taking the cheap route can be disastrous in the long run. These words of caution especially apply to when you are trying to create and prosecute a nonprovisional patent application. I would never suggest that you don’t do some of the preliminary work yourself. I do recommend, however, that you ultimately get a patent attorney involved. It won’t be cheap. However, in the long run it will be worth it.
At minimum, you should do a preliminary patent search before you start creating your patent application. Never skip doing a patents search! It is critical that you do a patents search. This information will tell you if you should even bother getting a nonprovisional patent in the first place. You may want to initially do a preliminary patents search yourself. Start by searching the internet for your invention. The next step you should take is a patents search on the US Patent and Trademark Office website. If your preliminary search suggests that you truly have a novel idea, then you should consider doing a professional patents search. The ballpark fees for doing a professional patents search is around $1,000 to $2,500. I know this sounds like a lot of money. However, it will be the best money you will ever spend when getting a nonprovisional patent. This search will determine whether or not you can get a suitably broad patent claim in the first place. If your patent search finds that you can’t obtain a strong enough patent position, you should abort your patent application and abandon the project altogether. If that occurs, it might be a thousand dollars spent, but it will be many thousands of dollars saved in the long run.
How much your patent ends up costing will depend on the complexity of your invention and how much patent prosecution is required to get your patent claims accepted by the US Patent Office. At bare minimum, the US Patent Office’s filing fee for a nonprovisional patent application is $553. Filing fees can and do go higher depending upon the number of claims your application contains. It is important to be aware that once your patent is accepted, you’ll have to pay the US Patent Office $885 to issue you the patent.
Please be aware that professional drawings are almost always required. For most utility patents, the drawings will cost between $200 to $400.
The cost for a patent attorney to create a patent application can vary from $4,000 to $20,000 , depending on the complexity of your invention. If your invention is an extremely simple device, such as a paper clip, expect to spend $4,000 to $7,000. Be aware that the majority of patent applications are not simple. As a result, expect to pay $7,000 to $12,000 to prepare your patent application.
Once your patent is prepared, the next step is to submit it to the US Patent and Trademark Office. At the US Patent Office your patent will be examined to determine if your patent claims are patentable. This step is called patent prosecution. Oftentimes, there is a lot of back and forth communication that goes on between the examiner at the US Patent Office and your attorney. In these negotiations, your patent attorney will try to get you the broadest patent claims possible. It is not unusual for the patent examiner to initially reject your patent claims. As a result, don’t be surprised if your patent claims have to be clarified, modified or narrowed in order to get accepted by the patent examiner. The amount you will have to pay your patent attorney to prosecute your patent can vary greatly. In most cases, the more complex your invention is, the higher the cost for prosecuting a patent. The typical cost for prosecuting a utility patent is around $2,500 to $7,500 .
In summary, you can expect to pay $8,000 to $37,000 to obtain a nonprovisional utility patent. With utility patents, you can get up to twenty years of patent protection with a registered nonprovisional patent. However, in order to maintain your patent protection, you’ll have to pay maintenance fees after 3 1/2, 7 1/2 and 11 1/2 years. These fees are not inexpensive! After your utility patent has been in place for 3 1/2 years, your maintenance fee is $565. After 7 1/2 years, the US Patent Office will charge you $1425 to maintain your patent rights. At 11 ½ years,The maintenance fees really jump up after 11 1/2 years. At this juncture it will cost you $2,365 to maintain your patent.
If you are searching for a patent attorney to help you with your nonprovisional patent application I would recommend that you check out NewBusinessCreator’s service providers. A good patent attorney is an invaluable resource for dealing with this complicated process. Once you acquire patent protection, you can use IntellectualPropertyStore to showcase your invention to invention licensing agents, product promoters and potential licensees in order to either sell your patent or license it.
Written by: Mark J. Krupp, Cofounder of NewBusinessCreator.com