The simple question “How much does a patent cost?” is actually quite difficult to answer because it depends upon what technology is involved in the invention, attorney fees, the inventions marketability and the geographical application of the patent.
Nonetheless, there are some basic guidelines that inventors can use to estimate and plan their budgets accordingly.
One of the most important factors that affects patent cost in the US is the invention itself, and specifically the degree of complexity. Patent applications involve lots of text and drawings, even for simpler inventions.
The first step in the patent application process is to file a non provisional patent application, which involves paying attorney fees in the range of $5000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the intricacies of the invention.
The amount you spend on a patent application will also depend on the market opportunities. Inventors may spend more for inventions with strong market potential to get the best possible patent protection.
Statistics show that up to 97% of patents generate less revenue than they cost to obtain. The cost of a patent can vary widely depending on, not only the complexity of the invention, but also the intended market. The most expensive patents are international patents, which can run up to $100,000 or higher. Domestically the costs can be $10,000 or above.
Filing for patents can be an expensive time consuming process so small companies should be highly selective about what patents they file for. In the case of a biotech company, for example, they can easily spend between $10,000 and $20,000 filing for patents.
The patent application filing fee for a basic utility patent is $330, which is in addition to a $540 utility patent search fee and a $220 examination fee, plus patent maintenance fees of $980 after three years.