It is your right to protect your invention(s) from others. The best way to do that is to get a patent. Through a patent, you exclude others from not just making your invention but also using and selling it.
Before you file for a patent, make sure your product is unique and does not already exist; it should be original. The cost of getting a patent may vary depending on the invention and the laws surrounding it. It is also possible that different states have different rules and regulations that may affect your invention. The cost of getting a patent also depends on the complexity of the invention, if it is intricate then it will probably be costlier. If you are confused about the costs then a patent lawyer can help you give accurate estimates after thoroughly reviewing your invention.
Getting a patent may seem very straightforward but the patent cost depends on various factors, especially law, previous applications in queue, and conflicts.
Each country has its own set of rules that apply to patents and trademarks. In the United States, the application goes through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The fees can be divided into three parts: filing, lawyer, and drawing fees.
Apart from all of this, the cost of getting a patent also depends on the application type. Even though there can be several application types, the two key ones are: Provisional patent application and a non-provisional (utility patent) application.
Provisional Patent Application
Most countries follow a first to file rule for patents. Similar is the case with USPTO, Anyone who files for a patent first is granted the patent, subject to approval.
This is why most people file a provisional patent application. This type of application allows the filer to gain first to file status quickly. Through this application, you get an effective filing date over those that file later.
One thing to keep in mind is that a provisional patent application is not an actual granted patent but more of a preliminary patent and it is not examined on its merits like an actual patent. During the time a provisional patent application is in effect, the formal examination of the patent is delayed. The type of patent is usually in effect for up to one year.
Provisional Patent Cost
The cost for a provisional patent differs according to the complexity of the patent. The initial cost can be as low as $60 to file the application. After each 50 pages of the initial 100 pages, the USPTO charges $100-$500. This is the cost if you file independently without an attorney but you would still have to take up the legal costs and give time to do your research. If you use the help of an attorney, the patent fees along with legal fees can set you back $2500 but depending on the complexity of the invention, the provisional patent application along with legal fees can go up to $18000.
Even though using the services of a lawyer/attorney can be expensive, there are a lot of advantages. The attorney plans everything for you, drafting the application as well as conducting research over other patents.
Non-Provisional Patent Application
Compared to provisional patent applications, a non-provisional patent application is a full patent. It protects the intellectual property and invention for the entirety of the patent’s duration.
Non – Provisional Patent Cost
This type of application is costlier than the provisional one. The initial cost to file is about $900 – $1200 including the search as well as review and examination cost. This may seem cheap, but when you add all the legal fees, the cost goes up to $7000 – $20000.
The costs rack up this high because the patent application requires thorough research and expert opinions to make sure the application is perfect. Considering there is a first to file rule, it is possible that if your patent application gets rejected or delayed, someone else might come up with an invention that is similar to yours or is exactly the same and then get it patented, which will prevent you from getting a patent yourself.
This is why it is important to get a patent as soon as possible to preserve the uniqueness of your invention. Regardless of the cost incurred, the advantages of getting a patent compensates for it.
It is important to look at the bigger picture of getting the patent rather than focusing on the patent cost. It is true that the patent cost can get out of budget for some, but the advantages of getting a patent surpasses the cost.