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How Much Does a Patent Cost? Everything You Need to Know

November 18, 2019

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a unique product idea that isn’t a copy of prior work.

Congrats! Moving on to the more important issues at hand, you’ll need to get a patent and understand the steps (and more importantly, the costs) that are associated with the process. Whether you're inventing a new type of robot or merely a new form of a coat rack, you will need to know the costs associated with getting a patent for your product.

The basics of patent cost

We’ll take you through the basics of how much a patent costs and break down why those prices are what they are. Note that there are two approaches you can take to getting a patent: seeking the help of a patent lawyer or going through the whole process yourself. There is a direct trade-off of time and value between these processes. Seeking a patent lawyer will expedite the process and reduce the chance that you run into any mistakes or snafus along the way, however it will cost thousands of more dollars.

What is included in the cost of a patent?

The cost of filing for a patent is typically only a small part of the total cost of the patent process, and the total cost of getting a patent with the help of a patent lawyer can be somewhere between $5,000-$10,000. There are three main fees that are associated with the process, which we’ll subsequently break down. They are patent filing fees, patent lawyer fees, and drawing fees.

Patent filing fees are associated with the initial filing of a non-provisional patent application and can depend on the industry and type of intellectual property you are filing a patent for. Look for these fees to be a minimum of roughly $700.

Patent lawyer fees are the fees that an attorney requires to help with a filing. These can range depending on what industry you are trying to obtain a patent in, as well as the complexity of your product. For simple products, the patent attorney fees should cost around $5,000. However, for complex technological devices or software-related products, these fees can reach up to $15,000. Make sure you do your research as to who the best attorneys are for your particular product and the industry you’re trying to enter with your patent. If you think there will be a significant payoff of obtaining a patent that will go far beyond paying up for an expensive attorney, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on hiring a patent lawyer that can ensure a swift and successful patent process for your idea.

Drawing fees will typically cost around $300-$500. Professional drawings will be required in almost all cases, as your invention will need to be drawn out and explained as thoroughly as possible through these illustrations. It’s highly recommended by patent experts that professional drawings are commissioned for almost any product, from something as simple as a type of coat hanger to as complex as a piece of medical technology.

Is it worth doing it yourself?

Much of the legal costs of getting a patent can be avoided by filing for a patent yourself without any help from a legal professional. However, this process will require a ton of work and carry a high risk of making a minor mistake that could be the difference in whether you get a patent or not. Overall, a do-it-yourself strategy for getting a patent will probably run you around $900 total.

Acquiring a patent yourself requires, first and foremost, a patent search to see what already exists. Without a trained professional, combing through search engine results, academic journals, and reaching out to others in a similar industry can take countless hours. Intellectual property management software can take some time off of this process, however it will usually come at a monetary cost. The decision as to whether you should try to get a patent yourself ultimately comes down to how much time you have and how confident you are in your own abilities to research your desired industry thoroughly.

See the Easiest-to-Use Intellectual Property Management Software →

Pay up

Regardless of how you choose to obtain your patent, it is going to make a dent in your wallet. However, think about the payoff that your unique intellectual property can have. If you feel like it’s worth it to go through an extensive and costly patent obtaining process, you’re making the correct business decision.

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