How Much Does a Mobile App Patent Cost?

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How much does a Mobile App Patent Cost?

With the world being quite literally “mobile, ” due to the influx of cell phones and smartphones, there are many technologies being developed, to meet the increasing demand in the mobile phone industry. In this regard, mobile applications (apps) are being developed and released weekly, which means that there is cut-throat competition in the mobile app industry, and thus the need to patent your mobile app. Getting a patent for your mobile app ensures that your technology is safe from duplication, use or being copied by others.

Now, that you want to safeguard your interests and that of your mobile app by patenting it, the question on your mind is probably, “How much does a Mobile App Patent Cost?” a definitive answer to this question can be complicated, as each patent application is unique depending on the technology used and the innovation itself. However, the cost of preparing and filing a provisional patent application for a typical mobile app can cost $2,000 to $4,000. The $2,000 provisional application fee is usually paid for a minimally viable mobile app, while the $4,000 is paid for a fully developed mobile app.

When regarding the cost of a mobile app, it is necessary to understand the difference between provisional and non-provisional applications.  The former type of patent application safeguards your patent filing date (priority date). Therefore, you have the freedom to explore the mobile app market without worrying about competitors filing for the same or exact app in the patent office. In other words, a provisional patent application acts as a placeholder (for up to one year) by securing your place in line at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

On the other hand, filing a non-provisional application with the USPTO starts the official examination process, which determines if your invention is patentable. The non-provisional application is also the second step after the provisional application in the patent registration process (first step if provisional is not filed). This step is the most complex (Involving a lot of documentation processes) and expensive. A non-provisional application may cost $10,000 to $15,000 to prepare and file, depending on the type of mobile app.

Note that a typical patent application may take years to complete and will undergo several rounds of rejection before it is accepted by the examiner. The number of rounds and the complexity of the rejection reasons will typically determine the cost you will pay for the examination process. These costs can range from $5,000 to $15,000, for a two to three year examination period.  You should understand that during this period your mobile app will have been on the market, and you will therefore, decide whether or not it is worth pursuing patent protection for the app.

Once the USPTO accepts a patent application, you will have to pay an amount that is less than $1,000, so that you can be issued a patent.  After which you will be required to pay a regular patent maintenance fee of $800 (at year 4), $1,800 (at year 8), and $3,700 (at year 12) for small entities.

In conclusion, the cost of a mobile app patent can range from $15,000 to $25,000, over the course of three to five years, depending on the technologies involved in the mobile app.