How much does a patent cost? Before proceeding with filing a patent application, you should know the overall costs involved in the patenting process. As a small business, paying $12,000 in fees to the USPTO and WIPO over the patent’s life may seem reasonable. This, however, does not even begin to take into account the additional costs of obtaining a patent, such as the preparation of your application and the use of a patent attorney to respond to numerous office actions. The average cost of patenting an idea is about $56,500, but that figure does not account for the funds needed to develop new technology or pursue patent enforcement.
According to the patent financing and insurance company BlueIron IP, this estimate is accurate, and it is backed up by the findings of the American Intellectual Property Legal Association’s Report of the Economic Survey.
Of course, you have to invent a thing or a method before you can patent it. 95% of inventions never make it to market. For every $1 million invested in R&D, one patent is typically filed.
Starting a patent search now will help you prioritize the technology that has the best chance of being adopted commercially and generating a return on investment. Also, prior art search accounts for about 8% of the average cost of patenting an invention. Early on and frequently throughout the innovation lifecycle, a thorough patent search can reduce the overall patent cost.
It’s time file your patent application once R&D results in an inventive product that is novel, non-obvious, and useful. You will get a quote from the patent lawyer for the initial cost of filing a patent application if you’re doing it with the aid of outside counsel. Right now, cheaper does not always equate to better. You want a high-quality patent application that will offer a strong patent, once issued. Saving money at the beginning of the patent process will probably increase the overall patent cost, precisely cost of patenting your idea. This is because a low-quality application will require more office actions.
A patent application is just the first step. You might be surprised to learn that the expense of a patent application is just the beginning if you’re not familiar with the patenting procedure. Office actions or working with your patent attorney to modify your claims to meet USPTO standards have hidden costs. An average of 4.2 office actions are performed on a patent. Your lawyer has the right to bill you for their extra time after each round of revisions. Additionally, there are fees associated with Requests for Continued Examination that must be paid to the USPTO.
Companies and inventors spend $2.5 billion annually on dealing with office issues. Using AI-based tools like XLSCOUT’s Novelty Checker and Ideacue can assist engineers and researchers in prioritizing novel ideas and designing around prior art. These tools help reduce this back-and-forth (and the costs that are associated with it).
BlueIron IP includes the fees necessary to keep your patent active as a small entity in the US. The cost of obtaining a patent rises with each additional nation or region where you want to protect your invention. In addition to filing and maintaining your patent with each office, you must also pay to have it translated.
It’s definitely reason to celebrate when the USPTO grants your patent. Especially if you know it’s a solid patent with a lot of potential for revenue.
To ensure that nobody else is profiting from your technology, you might need to actively enforce your patent. Depending on the circumstances, the legal and lost opportunity costs related to enforcement can be anywhere between a few hundred thousand dollars and millions of dollars.