Protecting intellectual property is paramount for all companies, regardless of whether they have one employee or thousands. A patent in the United States refers to a statutory right given to an inventor for “the invention or any new and useful improvement thereof” in the form a written document from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), giving the inventor the “right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention “for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.” It is critically important for New York businesses to understand both the process and the associated costs of applying for a patent prior to proceeding with such a request, as gaining the right protection can often mean the difference between success and failure for the business itself.

The process for completing the USPTO’s patent application process is complex, but with a comprehensive understanding of both the process and potential associated costs, businesses in New York can achieve intellectual property protection that can be the key to unlocking long term success. This article will explain the patent application process and provide an overview of the associated costs in order to adequately understand the necessary steps and financial obligations that must be taken should a request be made for a patent in New York.

Overview of the Process

The process for completing a patent application requires a great deal of knowledge, preparation and effort, consisting of multiple stages. Before the process can even begin, the business must first determine if their idea is eligible for a patent in the US. To be eligible, the idea must be new, novel, non-obvious and of practical utility, and must meet certain criteria set by the USPTO. Once eligibility is determined, the next stage is to conduct a patentability search to identify already existing inventions, issued patents, and pending applications which are identical or similar to the one in question.

The search process is made up of three distinct phases: the Automatic Patent Classification (APC) search and the patent title and abstract search, both of which use the USPTO’s public database, as well as the patent infringement search which involves further research of the public domain and an analysis of the claimed invention. After the search is completed, the patentability opinion is presented by a patent attorney or agent so as to assess the patentability accordingly.

The next stage is to create the provisional patent application (PPA), a document that sets up the field, scope and invention parameters which protect the invention. This document has a lower filing cost option than a traditional nonprovisional patent application, and is non-examined in the US. Once the PPA is completed, it must be reviewed and analyzed by the USPTO in order to mark the filing date of the patent application. The patent application (PA) is then created which must adhere to strict formatting, as well as contain complete descriptions of the invention itself. Finally, the PA is submitted and sent through examination which is conducted by the USPTO in order to grant the patent.

Associated Costs for a USPTO Patent

The costs for completing a patent application vary, depending on the complexity of the invention, the work involved in the patentability search and writing of the application itself, and any subsequent infringement searching. Alongside any external costs, businesses must also consider the official USPTO filing fees which start at $70 for small entities and increase, depending on the number of claims contained within the application (N.B. a person or business may need to pay additional fees when the application contains more than three independent claims and/or more than twenty claims in total).

The fees for a provisional application are considerably lower than that of nonprovisional applications, with the filing fee for a micro entity representing the lowest fee option, at $200 for the expedite option. The fees per independent claim also vary, depending on the type of entity filing the application; for small entities the fee for each claim is $250 with the fee rising to $420 for larger entities, and to an additional $180 fee of each claim over 10.

The final fees per application come into effect when the patent is granted, with an issue fee of $220 or $450, again, depending on the size of the entity filing the application. As many businesses in the US are subject to international patenting requirements, there is also the additional costs of submitting the patents to those countries and paying the associated maintenance fees for keeping authority over those patents.

Last reflections

The cost of obtaining a patent is extremely complex due to the numerous variables that can impact the fees. The cost for filing an application, or obtaining a patent, range from very low to extremely expensive. As such, it is critical for businesses in New York to gain a comprehensive understanding of the process and associated costs before proceeding with the filing of an application. This has been outlined in this article as a step-by-step guide to adequately support businesses in the state of New York during their patent application journey.


Patent Costs,


Patent Filing