How much does it cost to file a patent? That tends to be a loaded question that is riddled with various factors. Are you referring to just the patent application? Are you including patent lawyer fees? If cost is an issue, you may be wondering how to reduce the costs associated with filing a patent application. I’ll help break down what is involved in the cost of filing a patent application so you have a better idea of what financial commitment you can expect when filing for a patent.

The Basics of Patent Filing Costs

The first thing patent filing costs include is the USPTO fee, which could range from $50 to $700. Then you’ll need to consider maintenance fees, which may be $400 to $7,400 for each year’s renewal. Retaining the services of a patent lawyer to help with your utility patent application process could also cost around $6,000-$16,000, depending on the goals of the application and its complexity.  

A design patent application usually costs between $2,000 to $3,500 to prepare and file. While a provisional patent application is the least expensive type of patent application (with costs ranging from $1,500 to $3,000) you cannot make infringement allegations against someone only armed with a provisional application.

Current schedules of the USPTO’s patent fees can be found here:

This article will give you more insight into patent filing costs in the U.S. and how you can reduce them so that more financial resources can be directed to areas of research that matter.

Patent Attorney Costs

Finding an experienced patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property law will be the smartest way to save on patent filing costs in the long run. Patent lawyers like TBillick Law PLLC come with years of experience that can help prevent you from running into costly mishaps in the future.

Filing for a patent application will involve a lot of legalese and intense patent office procedure with which you may not be familiar. The cost of working with a patent attorney includes breaking down difficult information to help you better understand the process and avoid errors that could delay your patent’s approval.

While attorney fees are certainly a cost factor that you will need to account for when filing for a patent, it is important to remember that the cheapest option is not always the best. Keep in mind that you are paying for commitment, reliability, experience, and expertise.

How to Reduce Your Patent Costs

Being thorough from the start is the best way to set yourself up for success when filing a patent application. Conducting an extensive patentability search will help you avoid having to rework your concept, which will ultimately be the most expensive element of securing a patent.

Step 1: Conduct a Patentability Search

You may think no one has come up with your invention but scouring the USPTO and other search tools online could prove otherwise. You may choose to do this on your own or work with a patent attorney for assistance. Knowing what products have already been disclosed (either in the patent office or otherwise) will help you modify your invention before you invest time and money in creating it.

Step 2: Do Your Own Preliminary Draft

There are plenty of tools that inventors can use to test out the potential strength of a patent application before engaging a patent attorney. For example, you can use an online legal service document library to form the first draft to ensure that you have all the necessary materials and information. This will help you show up prepared to your first meeting with your patent attorney and reduce the time they will need to spend telling you what documents you need. I almost always re-draft everything you write anyway, but having the raw data from you initially saves us both a lot of time.

Step 3: Give Thorough Descriptions of Your Inventions

Work with your patent attorney to acutely describe every aspect of your invention. Even the most intricate, minute information could help with your patent claims. For example, sometimes a claim will need to be amended to include certain limitations not found in prior art cited against you. However, if you have not disclosed those details in your patent specification, you will not be able include them later on in your claims. Moreover, not having enough detail in the specification could open you up towards various kinds of rejections from the patent examiner. In short, not having sufficient information could jeopardize your ability to obtain allowable claims and can make the application process more cumbersome.

Work with TBillick Law PLLC as your creative counsel and secure the patent you need to take your product to market. Contact us at (206) 494-0020 to get started today.