“How much does a utility patent cost?” If you’re an inventor, you must have thought about this at some point. It makes perfect sense if you, as an inventor, want to protect your innovation. These inventions are your intellectual property. Hence, it is natural that you would want exclusivity over its production, commercialization, and reproduction.
This is where you would go for a utility patent. So you might wonder, “How much is a utility patent going to cost me?” If you’re looking for answers to such questions, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll dissect the entire patent procedure and give you a calculated estimate of the amounts you’ll spend at every procedure.
Utility Patent: A Brief Overview
Before we dive into the finances of this, let’s get a clear picture of what a utility patent represents.
A utility patent is a patent that protects new machines, processes, matter composition, drug, chemical, business methods, and manufacturing. The patent is valid for a period of 20 years, subject to payment of renewal fees to the USPTO every few years.
Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of utility patent costs:
- Government fees
- Professional charges
Utility patents are the most valuable kind, which is why their cost can range from $6000 to $15,000. Often is the case that more complex the invention, higher is the cost. The utility patent cost varies at different steps depending on the size of the entity. You have the following entities: micro entity (independent inventors, small business), small entity (mid-level organizations), and large entity (big corporations).
Related Article: Things to Do Before Patenting Something
Utility Patent Cost: An Insight on Every Step and its Expenses
The entireutility patent registration process involves different steps, some mandatory and some optional.
1. Patentability Search
The very first step is the patentability search, also known as patent novelty search. It’s not mandatory but it is highly advisable. You would want to hire a professional agency or organization for this. They’ll perform an exhaustive search for prior art in different databases such as the USPTO patent database. These also include patent databases of different countries, research journals, conferences, etc. Then, they’ll provide you with a patentability search report. Based on the results, you can determine if should go ahead with the patent filing process.
Estimated Fee: $300-$3000
This part of the utility patent cost is governed by the width and depth of the research. If you wish to cover more databases, have more hours deployed for the research, you will have to pay more.
2. Drafting the Patent Application
Writing a patent is an art. A patent is a very precise techno-legal document. You need to be knowledgeable in both technical (field of the invention) and legal fields (Patent Laws). Many inventors try to write a patent application on their own and focus completely on the technical perspective. Neglecting the legal point of view can prove to be expensive, like facing rejection from the USPTO. Hence, it is highly advisable to hire a good professional with appropriate experience. They can improve your patent application significantly and boost your chances of getting a patent. Then you have a provisional and non-provisional application. Depending on which application you file, the utility patent cost may vary.
Estimated Fee: $1000-$3000
The lower bound is for drafting a provisional application, while the upper bound is for non-provisional.
3. Utility Patent Illustrations
This is a key part of a patent application. Drafting the patent application is certainly very crucial. But, the words can only go so far without pictorial representation.
With your utility patent illustration, you can make your application stand out. Once an examiner sees your illustrations, he/she can relate to the written content better and draw conclusions slightly more easily. Hence, you should give considerable emphasis on this matter.
Related Article: Patent Filing Deadlines – Know When to Take Action
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Estimated fee: $45-$100 (per figure cost)
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4. Filing the patent application, publication, and examination
The appropriate forms along with their appropriate fees are as follows:
Some basic fees that you have to pay to include:
|Fee Code||37 CFR||Description||Fee||Small Entity Fee||Micro Entity Fee|
|1011/2011/3011||1.16(a)||Basic filing fee – Utility (paper filing also requires non-electronic filing fee under 1.16(t))||300.00||150.00||75.00|
|4011†||1.16(a)||Basic filing fee – Utility (electronic filing for small entities)||n/a||75.00||n/a|
|1005/2005/3005||1.16(d)||Provisional application filing fee||280.00||140.00||70.00|
|1201/2201/3201||1.16(h)||Each independent claim in excess of three||460.00||230.00||115.00|
|1202/2202/3202||1.16(i)||Each claim in excess of 20||100.00||50.00||25.00|
|1081/2081/3081||1.16(s)||Utility Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets||400.00||200.00||100.00|
|1085/2085/3085||1.16(s)||Provisional Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets||400.00||200.00||100.00|
|1090/2090/3090||1.16(t)||Non-electronic filing fee — Utility (additional fee for applications filed in paper)||400.00||200.00||200.00|
|1311/2311/3311||1.16(o)||Utility Examination Fee||760.00||380.00||190.00|
|1501/2501/3501||1.18(a)(1)||Utility issue fee||1,000.00||500.00||250.00|
5. Patent Prosecution Fees
After your patent application has been examined, you might have to respond to queries that the examiner raises. These are in the form of Office Actions. Your job is to respond to these objections and overcome all the obstacles in your way to get the patent grant.
Related Article: A Complete Guide to Patent Novelty Search
Also, the drafting of Office Action Responses is also not so easy. It is just as crucial as the patent application itself. Hence, people often seek legal assistance for this. The entire patent prosecution process demands a lot of time and money. Hence, patent firms charge a part of the utility patent cost accordingly for the same.
Estimated Fees: $1000-$2000
6. Maintenance Fees
After you clear all the objections that the examiner raises for your application, you’ll receive a grant for your patent. The validity of the patent is 20 years from the priority date. But within those 20 years, you’ll have to pay a maintenance fee from time to time. You can find the details in the table below:
|Fee Code||37 CFR||Description||Fee||Small Entity Fee||Micro Entity Fee|
|1551/2551/3551||1.20(e)||For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, due at 3.5 years||1,600.00||800.00||400.00|
|1552/2552/3552||1.20(f)||For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, due at 7.5 years||3,600.00||1,800.00||900.00|
|1553/2553/3553||1.20(g)||For maintaining an original or any reissue patent, due at 11.5 years||7,400.00||3,700.00||1,850.00|
There is another miscellaneous utility patent cost that you might have to pay. Check out the entire table from the schedule of fees.
7. Patent Watch Fees
Once you get a patent grant, you have to pay a maintenance fee to the USPTO, but that is not all. In the case of patent infringement, you have to assert your rights on your own. Hence, it is absolutely crucial to watch your patent. You can do this on your own but that might take up a large chunk of your time. Hence, you can hire a Patent Watch Service. They charge certain fees and in turn, monitor your patent.
Estimated Fees: $1000-$1500 (annually)
Need a professional illustrator? – Patent Illustration Express
By now, you must have an idea about the cost of a utility patent. Our job is to assist you with the patent illustrations, one of the most crucial parts of the application.
You may feel that the margins for error are too fine and the guidelines are too many. Consequently, rendering your own illustrations may seem like a daunting task. If you feel the need to consult a professional, Patent Illustration Express is here to help you. Our team of professionals boasts years of experience and diverse skill-set of software and handmade drawings. Utility patent illustrations are our specialty. Your satisfaction is paramount to us. We offer an incredibly high turnaround time and unlimited iterations, all at an extremely affordable price.
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