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CostHelper > Small Business  > Patent

Patent Cost


How Much Does a Patent Cost?

 
low costDo It Yourself: $1,200+average costBasic: $3,000+high costHigh: $5,000-$18,000+
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A patent[1] is the registered legal ownership of an original and useful invention.

Typical costs:

  • Before applying for a patent, you need to search to see if your invention is already patented. You can do that for free through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)[2] ; The University of Texas provides a free online tutorial for using this search site. Google.com[3] also offers a free, user-friendly search of the USPTO records.
  • Depending on the complexity of the invention or design, patent agents charge $400-600 for a comprehensive patent search, while patent attorneys fees range from $500-$1,700 for a search and an opinion letter about the legality of the proposed patent.
  • For utility patents, the federal government charges about $500 in filing fees for individual inventors (it's twice as much for large corporations), an issue fee of $700 if the patent is approved, and three periodic maintenance fees of $450, $1,150 and $1,900$75 discount.
  • Computer software programs for drafting and filing your own US patent application include PatentEase[4] for $260-$349 and Patent Pending Now! ($130-$200), by Nolo Press, which also sells do-it-yourself patent workbooks ($19-$43), including the popular Patent It Yourself[5] series.
  • Depending on the technical complexity of the subject, patent agents charge $600-$1,400 to prepare and process an application for a simple design or a straightforward mechanical device, such as a hand-operated kitchen utensil or a basic toy with few or no moving parts; $2,500-$4,500 for average complexity, such as a small electronic device or an innovative cog for an assembly line; and $3,500-$15,000 or more for complex projects such as chemical or biotechnological patents. Computer software patents can be simple, moderately complex or extremely complex, depending on the nature of the application.
  • Rates for patent attorneys to prepare a patent application and defend it during the approval process range from $3,500 to $25,000 or more, depending on the complexity. Attorneys fees may be based on hourly rates of $150-$400, depending on the services provided. IPWatchdog.com[6] gives an overview of possible patent costs.
Related articles: Copyright, Trademark, Incorporating a Business

What should be included:
  • The USPTO[7] answers frequently asked questions about patents and gives a detailed glossary of patent-related terms[8] . Generally patent ownership lasts for 20 years from the date of filing an application.
  • The Entrepreneur's Help Page[9] gives a concise overview of patents.
  • Every nation has its own patent laws; to protect your patent outside the United States you must file a patent application in each country. The US is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty[10] , which provides centralized filing procedures and a standardized format when applying for the same patent in any of 124 countries. The USPTO gives links to other countries' patent offices[11] and the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization[12] lists details on international patent classifications.
Additional costs:
  • After you file your application, the USPTO does an exhaustive search to see if there are any existing patents that conflict with your proposed invention or design. This is generally a much more extensive search than the preliminary one done by you, your agent or attorney. If the USPTO finds a conflicting patent in existence, your application will be denied, and the fees are not refundable.
  • If your patent application is denied, you can appeal the decision, but this can add $2,000-$10,000 or more to your attorney's fees.
Shopping for a patent:
  • While inventors can prepare and file their own patent applications, the USPTO[13] suggests it is a complex and detailed legal process which may require the services of a licensed patent attorney or agent. If you use an attorney or agent, the USPTO only deals directly with your legal representative.
  • There's an online database of all attorneys and agents licensed to practice before the USPTO[14] . Once you've located the names of local attorneys, you can search that same database to see exactly how many patents they worked on that have actually been approved.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
New Patent
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Richard Mailliard in Yorkville, CA.Posted: November 13th, 2009 06:11PM
I have a patent that has expired nd I want to renew it. The patent office said I have to file for a new one. How do I do this??
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External Resources:
  1.  www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.jsp#heading-2
  2.  www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html
  3.  www.google.com/support/contact/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2539193
  4.  www.patent-ease.com/
  5.  www.patentityourself.com/
  6.  www.ipwatchdog.com/patent_cost.html
  7.  www.uspto.gov/faq/patents.jsp
  8.  www.uspto.gov/main/glossary/index.html
  9.  www.tannedfeet.com/patent_law.htm
  10.  www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.jsp
  11.  www.uspto.gov/faq/other.jsp
  12.  www.wipo.int/classifications/en/
  13.  www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.jsp
  14.  /oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/query.jsp
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