How Much Does a Patent Cost?

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How much does a Patent Cost?

Getting your idea or creation patented is important in safeguarding your interests or profits because you get to have sole ownership or rights to your idea: this means that your idea or invention cannot be duplicated, sold, used or copied by any other person. Unfortunately, Patents are not granted for free; there is a fee you must part with, and hence the question, “how much does a patent cost?”

When it comes to patent costs in the United States, the answer is not quite straightforward or an exact figure; it largely depends on some factors including the invention’s marketability, the technology and degree of complexity involved in developing the idea, the geographical scope of the patent and the attorney fees. Despite the “complexities” involved in getting an actual patent cost, this article will give you some basic guidelines on patent cost, to help you plan your finances accordingly.

One factor that determines the cost of a patent is the degree of complexity or technology involved in making the invention. Patent applications will require you to write a lot of detailed texts and even drawings of your invention; this is in order to capture an elaborate detail or information concerning your idea. This information is recorded and filled in a non provisional patent application.

The cost of filling a non provisional patent application will normally depend on the invention. For instance, for incredibly simple inventions such as coat hangers or paper clips, the cost of a patent search with an opinion can range from $1,000 to $1,250. For moderately complex inventions like designing your cell phone, these patent search fees (with an opinion) may range from $10,000 to $12,000, while for highly complex inventions such as developing telecommunication systems may range from $14,000 to $16,000.

There are two ways you can have your idea patented; you can write and file your patent applications, or you can have a patent lawyer do the same on your behalf (for a fee of course). Patenting attorney fees can range anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 (depending on the intricacies of your invention). On the other hand, you can file (fill the necessary forms, provide the necessary legal documents and more) your own patent for about $900 (United States Patent and Trade Office {USPTO} fees only). This fee will also depend on the complexities of your idea.

You should note that international patents are some of the most expensive ones as they can cost up to $100,000 or higher. On the other hand, domestic patents (in the U.S.) can cost $10,000 and above. It is also important to take note of the “multiple” fees involved before you are issued with a patent. For instance, the application fee for filling a basic utility patent is $330, the search fee is $540, and the examination fee is $220. Plus a three-year maintenance fee of $980 will be required. Given this calculation, a patent for a basic utility product can cost you about $2070.

So, how much does a patent cost? Well, there is no accurate answer or one definitive figure, because the cost will mostly depend on the complexity and the technology that has been used in making the invention.  Also, the cost will depend whether you will be doing the patent filling yourself, or hiring a patent.  All in all, a patent cost can at times be expensive, especially if you are running a small business; so, pay keen attention on the patents you file for.