How much does a patent cost?

There are three categories of expenses for the typical patent application: (1) attorney fees; (2) USPTO filing fees; and (3) drawing fees. Of the three, the most significant expense is the attorney fees. One of my primary motivations for starting Richards Patent Law was my desire to reduce the attorney fees required to file and prosecute high quality patent applications, thereby significantly reducing the cost to file a patent application. I will prepare and file your patent application for a fixed fee, based on the complexity of your invention and the work required to prepare a quality patent application to protect it.  Call me to discuss the scope of your invention and I will provide you with a fixed fee agreement to prepare and file a patent application to protect your invention.

The following is information I prepared to provide a sense of what costs to expect from other more typical intellectual property law firms. Below the general information, I provide specific information about my typical fees.

In February 2008, Alan Kasper of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), presented information to an oversight hearing regarding the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). His presentation included information regarding the average patent costs in 2007.  The information came from the AIPLA 2007 Report of the Economic Survey compiled from a survey of patent practitioners.

According to the testimony the following costs are representative of the attorney fees charged by a typical intellectual property boutique firm in 2007.

The average cost of preparing a utility patent application:

  • Preparation and filing of an original application of minimal complexity by a small patent firm (10 page specification, 10 claims) = $8,548.00.
  • Relatively complex biotechnology/chemical cases = $15,398.00
  • Relatively complex mechanical cases = $11,482.00
  • Relatively complex electrical/computer cases = $13,684

Once a patent application has been filed, there are often one or more rounds of amendments at the USPTO over the course of several years of prosecution. Each round of amendments requires additional attorney fees. According to the 2007 AIPLA report, the average attorney fees for each amendment were as follows.

The average cost for filing an amendment:

  • Minimal complexity = $2,244.00
  • Relatively complex biotechnology/chemical case = $4,448.00
  • Relatively complex electrical/computer case = $3,910.00
  • Relatively complex mechanical case is = $3,506.00

Post-allowance and issuance fees:

When a patent application is allowed at the USPTO, the applicant must pay an issue fee before the patent is granted. The current utility patent issue fee (including the publication fee) is $2,070 for a large entity and $1,185.00 for a small entity. Once issued, patent maintenance fees are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after issuance.  The current large entity/small entity maintenance fees are $1,150/$575 at 3.5 years, $2,900/$1,450 at 7.5 years and $4,810/$2,405 at 11.5 years.  These fees are mandated by and paid to the USPTO.

The publication of the AIPLA Report of the Economic Surveys in 2009 and 2011 demonstrate that these costs have not substantively changed in the years since the previous survey.

How much does a patent cost at Richards Patent Law?

Richards Patent Law structures its fees to prepare and file your patent applications and amendments for predictable fixed fees. My goal is to reduce the overall cost of the patent process and increase the client’s control of the fees. The following are examples of current patent fees at Richards Patent Law.

Provisional Applications:

Provisional utility patent applications are used to secure an initial filing date for an invention and postpone the greater expense of thenon-provisional patent application for up to one year. Clients use provisional patent applications to get “patent pending” status and give themselves time to determine whether the product is going to be worthy of greater investment. Provisional utility patent applications are not examined by the USPTO (they are really just placeholders in time), but the strength of any patent that issues based on a given provisional application is dependent on the quality of the provisional disclosure. Accordingly, it is important to make sure your priority application is handled appropriately. My typical fee for preparing and filing a provisional patent application is around $4,000. The fee covers all of the activity related to preparing and filing the application (including the USPTO filing fees) and all of my communication with the client regarding the application before, during and after filing the application.

Non-Provisional Applications:

In order to receive an issued utility patent from the USPTO, one needs to file a non-provisional utility patent application. This is the application that triggers the examination process at the USPTO. Non-provisional utility patent applications can vary in scope and complexity quite dramatically, but as a general guideline, my typical fee for preparing and filing a non-provisional patent application is between $10,000 – $15,000. The fee covers all of the activity related to preparing and filing the application (including the USPTO filing fees and preparation of drawings in compliance with the USPTO regulations) and all of my communication with the client regarding the application before, during and after filing the application. The fee does not cover responses to subsequent office actions, payment of the issue fee, payment of maintenance fees, etc. With all costs included, a typical non-provisional patent application will cost around $20,000 over the course of about three years, including the fees to prepare and file the application.

As a general rule, if I prepare a provisional application that is later filed as a non-provisional application, I will credit the amount for the provisional against whatever I would charge for the non-provisional. As a result, the total fees to prepare and file a non-provisional should be the same whether or not we start with a provisional application.

Design Patent Applications:

Design patents are used to protect a product’s unique appearance. While limited in scope compared to utility patent applications, design patents can be effective tools in the right context. My typical fee for preparing and filing a design patent application is $2,000. The fee covers all of the activity related to preparing and filing the application (including the USPTO filing fees and preparation of drawings in compliance with the USPTO regulations) and all of my communication with the client regarding the application before, during and after filing the application. The fee does not cover responses to subsequent office actions, payment of the issue fee, etc. With all costs included, a typical design patent will cost between $2,500 – $3,000 over the course of 1 – 1.5 years, including the fees to prepare and file the application.

Please contact me to discuss your patent needs and how my fixed fee services can help you control the cost of your patent matters while providing the highest quality patent law services.

If you would like to discuss your patent matters with an experienced patent attorney, contact me to schedule a free initial consultation.

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