Patent Cost in the USA: Everything You Need to Know
Classifying the idea or object has to be determined before moving into the cost of the patent. 8 min read
Patent Cost USA
Patent cost in the USA depends on the type of patent. Most businesses and inventors initially ask that question, but discover a host of other questions must become answered first before anyone can answer that.
Classifying the idea or object has to be determined before moving into the cost of the patent. Research on if the idea truly has originality begins first before ever applying. Then finding any persons who helped create the process must become listed though they will not have rights to the patent itself influences the application but not the cost.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has its protocol to be met. Depending which industry your idea has originated from also determine which set of laws guide it through the patent process. The cost of obtaining a patent in the USA depends.
A scan of the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes it apparent that the type of invention and its complexity dictate the cost. A long list of considerations of your idea lists pricings. Most inventors rapidly conclude that hiring a professional on patent law would be better use of their time. After all, inventors usually have a job to do or a business to run. Hiring a professional gets you the objectivity of someone who has seen other inventions and their level of complexity.
Those two elements determine pricing or at least the level and category your idea or invention gets classified by. That just begins the process because if you manage to obtain a patent, other fees apply. Let’s start at the very beginning of it all. One step at a time with some professional help should make it manageable.
Go to the website and obtain a non-provisional patent application. Non-provisional patent applications have an examination. You get a customer number with a digital certification. At some point, you will do a provisional application as well, but this gets the ball rolling plus lets the Patent Office tell you what direction to go in saving time and money. Patent cost begins here with the initial fee plus the cost of professional help. How much you ultimately spend depends on the type of patent needed, the path you wish to take it, and what the markets have become intrigued with.
Intellectual property patents take a wide berth since the market may not be fully in bloom or created yet. More risk but also more profit if it comes to fruition. These patents take longer to become approved. Patent searches take time, and for a small business, the cost may prove prohibitive. Hiring a professional as in a patent lawyer may help the process become much more manageable.
Provisional patents do cost less at first, but it does not list all the necessary claims or specifications. Ultimately the details determine the originality of the idea. If the details cannot be found elsewhere the likelihood of it being original increases. Between hiring a professional, the search, and the fees $7000 to $10,000 budget is not unheard of.
Do It Yourself
Many people after studying get proficient at filing patents, and it remains a way to save money. It does take much time and searching to do so. If your invention or idea does not fall within the norm as patents go then, you may miss an important path in its protection. If you like taking risks, then do so. Do a thorough search, and it will take the most time. Do not delay that till later since fees are not returnable. Nothing worse exists than after some months pass a similar idea of device patent becomes found. You can also draft your own patent after the application process. Templates exist for that.
Many patents require drawings. Having the ability to sketch especially digitally saves costs. Software exists that makes outlines of pictures of objects like a coloring book such as Image Outline. If the item can become crafted then take a picture, use the outline software for the initial sketch and then fill in what is needed. If your desire becomes to protect your idea or creation for a short time, then file a provisional patent since it protects for a year. This path lets you do patenting in phases.
You can submit a draft patent application within the year. It allows conversion to a full utility patent application which most ideas and inventions fall under.
Kinds of Patents
Underneath the provisional and non-provisional patents which list names of the patent path exist categories of types of patents. The law created three primary types:
These deal with useful business processes, machines, manufacturing processes or improvement of those areas. It protects specific types of things such as a system, a method, or a machine. Most patents fall under this category.
These deal with original, or ornamental designs or the creative process that lead to it. No maintenance fees exist with this patent. It protects the way something looks. Made for fashion items covers shapes of devices, manufactured items, and user interface layouts. Cost remains similar, but the process in the application is much shorter. The patent office still reviews it. It does not cover all the areas like a utility patent does.
These deal with vegetation and genetics of plants. Inventions can fall under more than one category and can be patented under both categories. Each patent offers a different set of protections. The time it covers an idea or an invention also list differently. The point of the patent remains to get some protection of your idea or invention so that you receive the money from it and not someone else who borrows it without your permission.
Help Minimize Patent Cost
Making a patent cheap as possible does not help you. At the same time as a business, you are taking a risk and until the patent becomes bought or your business soars it remains an expense. Minimizing cost makes good business sense to a point. Doing the initial searches to determine originality. It makes the paid for search easier if you have a list of what it is not.
Talk to the patent office and read the website to determine what patent you should apply for especially with an idea or item that crosses categories. A mutually beneficial relationship with a professional where you do part, and they do part looks like the best option. Find a professional willing to do that, and you get the best of both paths.
Do You Have a Great Invention or Idea?
No matter how grand the idea the reality becomes how to pay for it. No simple list exists telling you what your idea costs. It remains pay as you go. Attorney fees range from $5000 to $15,000. Shop around before saying yes to an expert. Which path to take determines patent cost. Provisional and non-provisional paths both cost. Picking the origin point may or may not save you money depending on your idea. The market influences fees as well. People need to see a use for it.
Lots of patents exist on technology from the industrial revolution that a need no longer exists for but if you can tweak and attach to something modern possibilities begin to perk up again. Reality remains 97% of patents make less money than what it cost to obtain the patent. International patents can become the most expensive can run $100,000.
Smaller business must do patents that give the most chance for profit, or the fees can eat up profits quickly. That all being said in general a utility patent starts at $330 with a $540 search fee and the exam cost $220. Maintenance fees list as $980 for three years. So great is not good enough it has to be grand.
Provisional and Non-Provisional Applications
For small business, this route gives a way to post a “patent pending” on products and services. This protects a small business from larger entities for a time. It postpones most of the expense till later after more information has come in after a year. That gives time to assess if the product or service truly has potential. Like zero provisional patents hold a place. They deem your idea has value and help determine if it is marketable. Provisional disclosure determines quality. Non-provisional Applications causes an examination to occur by the United States Patent Office. Its patent cost initially is similar to the provisional application. It has to be filed anyway if the utility patent path becomes chosen.
Prepare a Utility Patent
A typical small patent with minimal complexity has a 10 page specification, with ten claims will range around $8,548. Biotechnology or chemical ones with a degree of complexity ranges around $15,000. Mechanical patents that have a level of complexity have a price tag of around $11,000. Electrical or computer patent ideas range around $14,000. Once filing becomes complete then over several years changes in law and amendments add to the mix. Attorneys guiding the process must have their fees. Preparing for a patent remains a marathon task.
Prepare a Design Application
Limited in scope it has to do with the outer appearance of items. It does not offer the protections in depth the other patents do. Designed for the fashion industry, it does help a person retain their brand appearance and name. In a limited niche, it remains a strong patent to protect artists and designers from infringement by much larger entities.
Post Allowance and Issuance Fees
Even if you get the patent, you must pay a fee so it can become issued to you. Currently a utility patent issue fee lists as $2,070 for something classified as large and $1,185 for something small. After that, a patent maintenance fee becomes assessed for some years after issuing the patent. More reason to hire a professional to ensure a patent does not eat up your small business. Patents do have monetary value, so an expert becomes needed to protect you financially.
Patent Filing Steps
Step by step to filing occurs in a timeline similar to this. Contact the United States Patent and Trademark Office and file a provisional patent application for $65 File a non-provisional patent application with a $400 fee If you receive the patent pay a patent issue fee of $450 Maintenance fee 3.5 years after issuance $400 7.5 years after issuance $900 11.5 years after issuance $1,850. The process used by a patent attorney and used by an inventor filing on their own is entirely different with different timelines. Patent lawyers charge between $200 and $400 an hour. Expect to pay $5000 to $10,000 just in attorney fees.
In modern times, a new idea or process must be well thought out or in a new field. The obstacles remain many to obtaining a patent if you are a small or medium business. It takes large resources to do so unfortunately. So, because of money many ideas never get fully developed or are stolen by unethical people.
The person who should receive the money does not while a thief gets rewarded. The law and lawyers do give protection but it costs much. Also know that if you do not do a thorough job of describing your patent someone can create a patent on a portion of your process and block you from using your method. Once you file it becomes open information on how you do business.
On the bright side, a patent can have much monetary value and can be sold. If you need help with creating a patent you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel hires only the top 5 percent of lawyers into its site. Most have 14 years of legal service and have worked with small business to corporate. Their level of expertise ensures you the best and latest legal advice