How much does a patent cost?
Have you ever been in a situation where you could save a bit of money, but at a higher cost for the long term? Or the case where you know you would be better off safer than sorry, but chose to save the cash and worry about it later? I get it, we all want to conserve money better- but 1 of the WORST scenarios you could do that with is with your startup’s IP strategy.
You know the phrase, if you think education is expensive, try ignorance? The same can be said for patents. Take for instance our latest post about The Case of the No Patent Startup.
We read articles all the time where all kinds of people from founders, to developers insist IP protection is not a priority and that funds should be allocated towards growth and development. But you know who we rarely hear that from? VC’s, companies who have gone on to have successful IPOs and from most experienced mentors.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PATENT AN IDEA?
The short is answer is, it depends. You can go to a fancy patent lawyer and pay $10,000 just to file. Let’s start with some basics; if you want to know how much a patent costs, then you need to understand options that are cost effective to get the true cost to patent an idea.
In this post we’ll describe the costs incurred in the patent filing process, for a US patent application. ( The process is slightly different in Europe and China- we’ll explain how in future posts).
So, how much does a patent cost?
Again- it depends how you do it. You can file a provisional patent application yourself for $140. The provisional only lasts one year to get your foot in the door with your filing date.
After filing, there are other expenses. For a standard application — which you must file eventually to get a patent — there are letters from the examiner (described above) which you have to answer. You can do it yourself, but if you pay someone else, the costs can start to rise quickly.
We’ve broken down the potential scenarios of the cost to file a patent so you have an understanding about how to get patent protection for your ideas and your startup.
- File a US provisional application first. For most startups this is the best idea because it is quick and easy — and gives you one year to sort out what you need to protect. Allow a few thousand dollars (USD).
- Next file a regular US patent application in one year. This is one of the cheapest applications in the world to file because of low filing fees. Allow a few more thousand dollars (USD).
- In the next 2–3 years, the examiner (representative of the USPTO) will look at your application and decide whether you should receive a patent. Allow up to $4000 for the examination process (over several years).
- You then pay the issue fee for the patent to be granted — allow up to $2000.
- And then you pay maintenance fees every 3.5 years. Click here for the full list.
SO, HOW IS KISSPATENT ANY DIFFERENT?
If you understand how lawyers work, then you know all about the billable hour. If you’re not familiar, congrats! What that billable hour boils down to is this- lawyer’s need to bill for every single hour worked- which is fair enough, they are doing the work. But the hours put in are long, expensive and add up far quicker than you can imagine. Couple that with the actual patent filing fees and thats where you end up with those $10,000 + figures.
Here is a quick video that explains patent costs and how to keep them low.
Patent costs can explode quickly- but not with KISSPatent! Our model is unique in that you control how much you spend.
This process is straightforward, but there are a lot of moving parts. Got any questions? We have answers! Contact us – we’d love to hear from you!