A utility patent is one of the three types of patents- Design, Plant and Utility and is the most frequently filed patent type. Therefore, the utility patent cost is an important factor to consider before you proceed with patent filing. Since cost is different at different stages, it is important to know how much you need to pay for getting a certain procedure done. Also, utility patent cost is variable i.e. the cost fluctuates with the presence or absence of certain factors which we will discuss in this article.
To begin with, Utility patent cost, let’s just discuss a little more about utility patents. A utility patent is a patent for a machine, process, matter of composition, or any new or useful improvement thereof. The term of a utility patent is of 20 years. Similarly, the term for plant patent is 20 years. But for design patents, it is 14 years.
You can pay a maintenance fee to extend the period of a utility patent, but this is not the case with design and plant patent.
Now let’s dive into utility patent cost.
Utility patent cost – Complete Anatomy
The cost associated with different stages of patent prosecution makes a complete structure of utility patent cost. There are many factors that affect the budget of receiving utility patent for your invention. Also, the price range is different for every step in the patent lifecycle.
- Patent drafting fees
You as a patent applicant need to pay utility patent cost right from the stage of patent drafting. Although, the inventor/applicant can draft the patent application on his own it is to take assistance of a patent consultant. Therefore, the drafting a utility patent application can cost you around $200-$500.
Moving to utility patent cost for filing.
- Patent filing fees
The Utility patent cost for filing depends on the type of patent application – provisional or non-provisional. The cost of filing a provisional application is comparatively less as compared to a non-provisional application, but both the applications serve a different purpose. Here is an analysis of utility patent cost while filing it withUSPTO.
|Type of Patent||Offline filing||EFS-Web Filing||Small Entity||Micro entity|
- Patent search fee
This search determines the patentability of the proposed invention. The conducted searches include– patent validity search, novelty search, infringement search, and state-of-the-art search are conducted to determine the credibility of the current application. These searches fall under a broader category of prior-art search. Patent office official conducts these searches through databases, scientific journals, and other authentic publications.
|Type of Patent||Basic Search Fee||Small Entity||Micro entity|
- Patent examination fees
After patent application filing the very next step is its publication in patent office journal. Very next to this is the examination of the application at the patent office. The cost can vary due to the length and complexity of the patent specification.
|Type of Patent||Basic fees||Small Entity||Micro entity|
- Patent post-allowance fees
Once you (applicant) receive the notice after the patent examiner decides to grant a patent, you receive a notice to pay post-allowance fees. The notice directs that the application is complete and meets all the requirements.
|Type of Patent||Basic fees||Small Entity||Micro entity|
|Utility Issue Fees||$1000||$500||$250|
|Utility Reissue Fees||$1000||$500||$250|
- Patent extension of time fees
In case of discrepancies during prosecution patent office raises office actions. You (applicant) are given a three-month time period for a response to the office action. But, due to any reasons if you couldn’t come up with an office action response within the given time period, then you can go for an extension of response. The fee associated is given below:
|Duration of Extension||Basic fees||Small Entity||Micro entity|
|Extension for response within first month||$200||$100||$50|
|Extension for response within the second month||$600||$300||$150|
|Extension for response within third month||$1400||$700||$350|
|Extension for response within fourth month||$2200||$1100||$550|
|Extension for response within fifth month||$3000||$1500||$750|
- Patent maintenance/renewal fees:
Although not necessary, renewal becomes essential if you want to prevent your invention from coming into the public domain. To implicate this, one needs to pay patent maintenance pay from time-to-time to increase patent validity. Renewal of patent also includes some part of the utility patent filing cost.
|Type of Maintenance||Offline filing||Small Entity||Micro entity|
|For maintaining patent (original or reissue), due at 3.5 years||$1600||$800||$400|
|For maintaining an patent (original or reissue), due at 7.5 years||$3600||$1800||$900|
|For maintaining an patent (original or reissue), due at 11.5 years||$7400||$3700||$1850|
|Surcharge – 3.5 year – Late payment within 6 months||$160||$80||$40|
|Surcharge – 7.5 year – Late payment within 6 months||$160||$80||$40|
|Surcharge – 11.5 year – Late payment within 6 months||$160||$80||$40|
|Petition for the delayed payment of the fee for maintaining a patent in force||$2000||$1000||$500|
Also Read: Things to Do Before Patenting Something
Factors affecting utility patent cost
Although the cost of patent protection is constant at every stage it can vary from invention to invention. There are many factors that influence the utility patent cost.It is better to have prior knowledge of the factors just so you can prepare yourself financially. Enlisting some of the important factors below:
Patent application type: there are broadly two types of a patent application – provisional and non-provisional. A provisional application is an incomplete application and also the associated fee is less as compared to a non-provisional one.
- It acts to set a priority date for your invention if your invention is not in a complete state of actual filing.
- It is compulsory to file a non-provisional patent application after filing a provisional application within a 12-month period. Therefore, filing a provisional application incurs a double cost as compared to filing a single non-provisional patent application.
Invention complexity and technicality: the complexity of the invention is a major factor in influencing the cost. The more technical and complex the written description and specifications are the more time and effort it takes at the examiners’ end to analyze the patent specifications.
The Invention’s written disclosure quality: this directly influences the legal fees. This is quite straightforward, the more the disclosure is comprehensive the lesser time it will take for the attorney to understand the invention. This majorly reduces the legal cost. Make sure you inform your attorney of any changes in the technicality of the invention. Otherwise, it will incur more costs.
Size of the organization: the cost of patenting is majorly different for different entities. If you are a small entity the cost for all the stages is comparatively less than that for a bigger firm. Whereas, the cost for a micro-entity is halved the patent cost for a small entity.
You are a small entity if:
- You are a person;
- A non-profit organization; or
- The organization qualifies as a non-business concern.
Conducting a patent search: Although, patent search is not a compulsory step but proves beneficial if carried out. Conducting a patent search prior to filing brings to light if your invention is patentable or not. This reduces the upcoming costs associated with the quest for the patent grant.
You can go for a patent search on your own. But for a deep search hire a patent attorney. The cost of the process will fall in the bracket of $2000-$3000.
Number of Claims: claims are the part of the specification for which you seek a patent grant. Hence, claims are the most important factor of any patent specification. The minimum number of claims is one per patent application. Also, the cost varies with the number of patent claims present in that application.
- If your patent application has more than 3 claims then there is an extra cost of $220 per claim.
- If there are more than 10 claims per application, then the cost is $52 per claim.
Office actions response: if during prosecution the patent office examiner raises office action, the applicant responds with an “office action response” within a period of 3 months. This incurs an additional cost of filing the response. Also, an additional time extension for office action response incurs more charges for the applicant.
Utility patent cost benefits with Professional Patent Illustrators
By now you know the cost associated with the patent grant is no less. A well-prepared patent draft as per the patent office rules brings down the cost to a great extent and also saves time. Patent illustrations play an important role in a patent application and are specifically as per the patent office rules. If you are looking for services providing high-quality patent illustration reach out to us at Professional Patent Illustrators.
We are a team of experienced professionals producing best-in-class utility and design patent illustrations. Your needs and interests are our priority. Hence, we provide multiple iterations until we meet your needs. We take care of the deadlines and regulations so that you do not pay any added cost. You can find our patent illustration samples free of cost by making a little inquiry.
To know more, please visit Professional Patent Illustrators.