What Does A Patent Cost?

As of April, 2023, for a single invention, you can spend from $60 to file a provisional patent application in the USA, to $1,000,000+ (over time) to have patents on your invention issue in most of the countries around the world

Here are some examples of current patent costs:

  1. Provisional patent application filed by the inventor: If you choose to file a provisional patent application at the USPTO on your own, the filing fee is now $60. The provisional patent app enables you to establish a priority date, but it is not an enforceable patent.
  2. Non-provisional (utility) patent application filed by an attorney: Filing a non-provisional patent application through an attorney is generally recommended to ensure that the application is properly prepared and filed. The costs associated with using an attorney to file a non-provisional patent application can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the invention and the attorney's hourly rate. However, using an attorney can increase your chances of obtaining a patent and can help you avoid costly mistakes.
  3. Patent prosecution costs: Once a non-provisional patent application is filed, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may issue office actions requesting additional information or amendments to the application. The costs associated with responding to office actions can vary depending on the complexity of the response and the amount of time required by the attorney. Patent prosecution costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the circumstances.
  4. Issue fees: If the patent application is approved, issue fees must be paid to the USPTO to obtain an issued patent. The issue fee for a US utility patent is currently $240.
  5. Maintenance fees: After obtaining a patent, there are maintenance fees that must be paid periodically to keep the patent in force. These fees are due at 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years from the date the patent was granted.

It is important to note that these costs are just estimates, and actual costs may vary depending on the specifics of the patent application and prosecution process. You must pay patent application, issuance and maintenance fees for every country in which you wish to have an enforceable patent. The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) and EPO (European Patent Office) provide ways to save money on the initial filing, but ultimately, national fees need to be paid.

The high cost of obtaining and maintaining patents is why an inventor needs to be strategic about where to get patent coverage. Patents grant exclusive rights to make, use and sell an invention. Many companies choose to patent in just the USA and a few European countries (where products are sold) and in China (where products are made). The ability to be able to enforce a patent is a factor too. For example, Brazil offers an appealing market, but enforcing a patent there is difficult.

If you'd like help in writing and filing a provisional patent application, a recommendation to an attorney or advice on patent strategy, you can contact us using our Confidential Contact Form.

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