How Much Does a Software Patent Cost?

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How much does a Software Patent Cost?

Technology is at the heart of at least each and every sector in the world today. It is, for this reason, that big companies such as Apple, Microsoft and others are frequently engaged in Legal battles in a bid to protect or defend their patent. As a software developer, you should take a hint from these big companies and seek to get a patent for your software. This will protect it from being copied or used by competitors out to grab any new innovative idea. You will also be safeguarding your source of revenue (software), by getting your technology patented.

“How much does software patent cost?” this is one of the questions most software developers seeking to get a patent will normally be concerned about. Well, it can be hard to get an exact estimate of the cost of a software patent; because the cost will sometimes depend on the technology itself and the complexity involved in developing the software. However, this cost is estimated to be about $6000 to $16,000, for a typical software patent with legal help from a patent attorney. On the other hand, software related patent application may cost you $2,500 to $3,000 if you do the patent registration and filing yourself.

The cost of attorney time alone (without other charges) will usually start from $2000 for a provisional patent application. However, because there are other expenses involved in getting a patent this cost ($2000) will usually go up. For instance, $130 is the filing fee required for small entity applicants. Also, there may be drawings required (outlining the details of the software), and these will usually cost from $100 to $125 per page. Using this example a software patent may cost you a minimum of $6,000 plus the filing fee and drawing costs (when you use the services of an attorney).

While it may seem “cheaper” to file for a software patent yourself, it is also very risky. This is because the patent registration forms are full of legal, complex language that might be hard for you to comprehend. In this regard, you may end up filing incorrectly filled forms, which will probably be rejected.

It is also wise to note that there is so much information about your software that will be required before a patent is issued, such as a description of your code, your algorithms and a detailed description of your software architecture. Hence, the “increased” cost of software patent applications.

In conclusion, here is an example of how much it would cost you to patent computer-related software to be implemented via the internet. This estimate assumes that the applicant has the intention to obtain a strong patent protection. You should also note that this is a hypothetical example:

The cost of a software patent search (with an attorney’s opinion) = $2,500 to $3,000

Provisional patent filing fee for small entities to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) = $130

Preparing and Filling a Provisional patent application (with an attorney) = $6,000

Nonprovisional patent application after filing for a provisional patent = $10,000 to $12,000

NonProvisional patent filing fee for small entities to the USPTO = $800 to $1,250

NonProvisional Professional illustration fee = $500

The average TOTAL COST for filing a non provisional software patent application = $19,930 to $22,880. This cost will reduce by $130 if a provisional patent application is skipped.