How Much Does It Cost to Get a Design Patent?

When asking, “how much does it cost to get a design patent?” consider the following. The kind of invention and its complexity are the most essential considerations when determining the costs of submitting a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Nearly all innovations fit into a range from comparatively easy to advanced. To obtain a patent you will have to file a non-provisional patent application. Federal government fees for a non-provisional patent application are a minimum of $730 for small entities, which is how most individual inventors and small enterprises are characterized. For even smaller entities, the charges for non-provisional patent applications could be as low as $400. Submission charges can, and do, increase based upon the variety of claims in the application.

Skilled drawings, which should be considered required, will usually add a minimum of $300 to $500 for a whole set of drawings. These are simply ballpark figures, and attorney charges can reach above $15,000 depending on the complexity of the invention and/or the necessity for specialized services. Getting a stronger patent requires extra claims and extra consideration to provide a satisfactory technical disclosure and to describe many options, choices, variations and completely different embodiments for a patent.

A patent search is also important as this provides an idea about whether or not it is even sensible to pursue a patent in the first place. The aim of a patent search is to succeed at an 80 percent confidence threshold. Searches by an expert patent searcher and a lawyer's written opinion usually cost from $1,000 to $3,000.

Costs depend upon:

  • The quantity of written evaluation you need to obtain
  • The complexity of the invention
  • The quantity of prior artwork found that must be considered

One approach for inventors to reduce costs is to first begin by submitting a provisional patent application. A provisional patent application must disclose the invention fully as would a non-provisional patent application. However, specific formalities are much simpler to arrange. A provisional patent application makes sense, as it offers you some immediate protections and allows you to proceed with work to enhance the invention over 12 months before filing for a non-provisional patent application.

The price for lawyer time alone for a provisional patent application is usually a minimum of $2,000. The submission charge is $130 for a smaller business and drawings usually cost $100 to $125 per page. A top quality provisional patent application for a mechanical or electrical machine can usually be ready and filed for $2,500 to $3,000. Similar to non-provisional patent functions, the know-how involved and the complexity of the invention have a large influence on the costs for a provisional patent application.

Why Is Design Patent Cost Important?

Crowdfunding is utilized by some inventors and designers to raise enough money to file for a design patent. Thus, it is important to gain an idea on how to gauge costs. Another option is to withhold sharing your idea until you can save enough money for the design patent costs. The average approximate cost for a basic mechanical utility patent is $3,500; however, a complex mechanical patent could cost $4,000 or more.

There are also other charges and penalties that can easily accrue. For example, a late payment that's paid within six months of the due date will come with a fee of $160 for a large entity, $80 for a small entity, and $40 for a micro-entity. Unintentional late payments after the expiration date have fees of $1,700 or $850, respectively.

What Is Involved in Design Patent Application Review?

A design patent application costs about $1,500 for a small entity. Costs for a large entity will typically be about $2,360.

U.S. Patent and Trademark fees are roughly $760 for a design patent, which includes $510 for government fees and $250 in attorney fees for smaller entities. For a micro-entity the government fee is $255. Larger businesses can be charged upwards of $1,020 for government fees. Attorney fees can range between $175 per hour for smaller entities all the way to $250 per hour for larger entities.

If you need help understanding the costs associated with filing for a design patent, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. Lawyers on Upcounsel average 14 years of experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Twilio and Stripe.