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6 Factors That Affect the Cost of a Patent Application

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How much does it cost to get a patent? If you have you been contemplating applying for a patent, then this question has probably crossed your mind. Costs usually vary on a case by case basis depending on a number of factors, key among them being legal fees. Let’s go over some of the factors that might affect the cost of your patent application.

  1. Type of Patent
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Are you applying for a provisional patent or a non-provisional one? A provisional patent is usually cheaper than a non-provisional one. It will have fewer formalities and lower filing fees. You can expect to spend about $5000 or less on a provisional patent. A non-provisional patent on the other hand will cost at least $13000 to prepare and file. This doesn’t include any other follow-up and maintenance costs.

A design patent will cost much less than a utility patent. A design patent is meant to protect the look of your invention and could cost you $3000 or less. A utility patent helps protect the functionality of your invention and could cost you upwards of $20,000.

  1. Geographic Coverage
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If you are looking to sell your invention globally, then you might have to file an international patent. This will cost you more than filing a patent in the United States. Should you choose to go down this road, you might be required to file a patent in every country where you’re seeking protection. This could cost you up to $50,000. Consult with a patent lawyer for a more detailed cost breakdown.

  1. Complexity and Scope of the Invention
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The more complicated your invention is, the harder it will be to do the drawings and write the descriptions needed for your application. This means your application will require more time to prepare and will therefore cost more.

If you have several related inventions, you can make the application much cheaper by combining all of them into one patent application. However, it may not always be possible to do this. Consult with a patent professional to find out if this strategy may be applicable to your patent.

  1. Ownership Structure of the Invention
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It is usually easier if all the inventors agree to assign the invention to a single company. If the patent has many owners who are not on in agreement, then the attorney might have more work cut out for them. This will increase the costs incurred.

  1. Size of Your Organization
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Bigger organizations normally attract higher USPTO fees. Startups, individuals, and not for profit organizations enjoy much lower USPTO fees. What you’re charged will largely depend on the scale of your operations. Check out the USPTO website for the complete fee schedule.

  1. Maintenance Fees
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You will be expected to pay maintenance fees for your parent at the 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5-year marks after the patent has been issued. You can expect to pay a total of $15000 over that time. However, you have the option of abandoning the patent at any time meaning you won’t have to incur the subsequent costs.


After your patent is approved, you can now focus on monetization. Should there be infringements on your patent, you can seek the services of a commercial litigation lawyer to help protect your invention.

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