How much does a patent cost?
The usual/normal cost of a patent from start to finish includes these costs: a professional fee for a prior art search and patentability evaluation, a professional fee for patent application writing, the patent office filing fees, usually some professional fees for patent prosecution, and, if there are allowable claims, the patent office issue fee. Naturally every invention is unique and each application has its own intricacies. However, generally, the decisions about three things:  kind of application (utility or design),  complexity, and  countries where protection is sought, will have the most influence on the costs of patenting.
General Cost Estimating.
Generally the prior art search and patentability study is a fixed cost under about $1k for most inventions. Patent application prosecution costs vary depending on the quality of the documents filed, and the activities needed to properly and completely respond to office actions. It is best to estimate two or three patent prosecution professional fees for responding to office actions. Protection professional fee costs vary, but, it is best to estimate $1K+ for each.
The costs of the initial patent application writing professional fees vary depending on the three general decisions:  kind of application (utility or design),  complexity, and  countries where protection is sought, that have the most influence on writing and filing cost.
Patent office filing fees vary depending on kind (utility/design), international filing choices, and inventor/applicant status. Patent office issue fees vary depending on kind (utility/design), international filing choices.
Professional fees for patent application writing.
How much writing a patent application costs depends on three things. First, whether it is a utility or design patent. Design patents cost less. Second, whether it is a simple or complex invention. Simple patents cost less. Third, whether it is a US or an International application will contribute to how much it costs to get a patent. US only applications cost less. Contact Us to talk about the options.
Whether the invention or idea needs a Utility or Design Patent matters.
Utility patent applications are more complicated to write and prosecute. Design patent applications are simpler. There are major differences in all three of the key areas of a good patent application. There are significant differences between utility and design patents in the description, claims, and drawings.
Utility Patents are usually more complex.
Design patents typically cost less to write and file than utility patents because they are simpler to write and prosecute. Design patent application descriptions are not usually much longer than a few sentences. Whereas utility patent application descriptions are usually at least a few pages, not sentences, long. It is common to have 15 – 20 pages of written description for a utility patent. Whereas a short description will suffice for a design patent.
In addition to the many more pages of description, utility patents also need additional pages for the abstract and the claims. Just the abstract of a utility patent, while limited to 150 words, is typically longer than the written description of a design patent application. The abstract is not needed for a design patent.
Utility Patents usually have more claims.
The difference in patent claims also helps explain the difference in cost. Utility patent applications usually have one or more pages of claims. In contrast to design patents that have only this one claim, “I claim the ornamental design as herein shown and described.” Utility patents usually have many claims, and may have several different kinds of claims.
Utility patents are not limited in the number of claims. Over 20 claims requires additional government fees, but there is no limit. Utility patents can have independent, dependent, and multiple dependent claims. There are kit claims, method claims, Markush claims, and species claims too. Just to name a few.
More claims means more writing and prosecuting and thus means more cost. Claim writing can be complicated, and proper form is critical. Professional help is highly recommended for claim writing.
Utility Patents may need more drawings.
The differences in drawings and figures between utility and design patents can also contribute to the difference in cost. Design patents usually have just the single set of figures to show the six orthogonal sides of the design. They may also have one or two 3D or partial section cut-away views to highlight the design.
Utility patent applications in contrast may need many drawings. Further, utility patents may need figures to show relationships between elements and features such as flowcharts, flow diagrams, or operation diagrams. Depending on the utility patent, there may be many more drawings needed than for a design patent.
Whether it is simple or complex matters.
As you might expect, the simpler the invention the simpler it is to write and prosecute. A space shuttle would be a complex invention, a toaster would be simple invention. Simpler is not less import, or less valuable, it is just less expensive to patent than complex. Simple is less expensive because there are fewer moving parts and elements. Both require a complete description including a full disclosure of how to make and use the invention.
More complicated patents not only require more time and effort on the written parts, but can also require much more time and effort when it comes t0 the drawings. Simpler inventions require less words to describe and fewer illustrations to convey. More complex patents need more complex descriptions and drawings. More complex inventions require more time and coordination. Thus complex invention applications cost more to develop and write.
Whether you want to protect your invention in the US only or Internationally matters.
US only patents cost less. This is because US patent applications only seek protection over the making, using, and selling of the invention in the United States.
US patents are either utility or design patents. The international patents are the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filing for utility patents, and The Hague (international industrial design) filing for design patents.
International patents cost more. This is because the international application seeks making, using, and selling protection in many countries. Seeking patents in the various patenting offices around the world requires fees for each office or country where protection is sought.
Patent office filing fees.
How much patent office filing fees cost depend on three things:  whether it is a US or an International application,  in which countries protection is sought, and  the USPTO inventor/applicant status. Refer also to general patent costs.
USPTO Inventor/Applicant Status.
USPTO Inventor/Applicant Status can be regular, small, or micro. Smaller is less expensive. Small Entities get a 50% discount on most patent office filing fees. Micro Entities get a 75% discount on most patent office filing fees. Generally Small and Micro Entities are persons who have not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed, and are under no obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention. Additionally, for Micro Entities, they have not filed four or more other applications, and their income is less than about $190K/year. Contact Carson Patents for patenting cost details. Refer also to general patent costs.
Patent office issue fees.
The costs of the patent office issue fees vary depending on kind (utility/design), international filing choices, and inventor/applicant status. The most expensive (timely filed) patent office issue fee is about $1k. Some are much less. Refer also to general patent costs.
Contact us to discuss your options on how to keep costs low.