The Cost To Be The Boss Just Went Up: The New Patent Fees

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"The USPTO does not make it easy to figure out some of these fees (bless their hearts)...fees are the sum of the basic filing fee (or transmittal fee in the case of PCT), patent search fee, and the patent examination fee."

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked, is "how much does a patent cost?" In this post, I'll only address government filing fees associated with filing a patent, because the true nature of the cost of a patent depends on attorneys fees, USPTO feedback about the patent application, and maintenance fees over the life of an issued patent.

By the way, the USPTO does not make it easy to figure out some of these fees (bless their hearts). For one thing, fees are broken down by an entity's size.  Furthermore, fees are the sum of the basic filing fee (or transmittal fee in the case of PCT), patent search fee, and the patent examination fee.

 Source: USPTO.gov

Source: USPTO.gov

Keep in mind, the fees which are referenced are filing fees.  In the case of utility patents, once a patent issues, an issue fee will need to be paid as well as maintenance fees every 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years, not to mention attorney's fees for responding to the USPTO on your behalf.  And don't forget the hidden costs of your time as well as opportunity costs.

When engaging a client, I like to discuss how, at a minium the client plans to recoupe the legal costs associated with an invention.  You are not likely to make a million dollars with a better mouse trap alone (contrary to popular belief, the world will not beat a path to your door).  Inventing is just one, in a litany of steps to commercialize an invention, and most steps to market require a combination of time, money, and expertise.

The good news? In ultimately securing a patent, you beecome one of the lucky few who can claim be an "inventor" and patent holder. And perhaps that alone is priceless- the rest will cost you.

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About the Author

Angela Grayson is the Principal and Founder of Precipice IP, PLLC.  She practices before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is a registered patent attorney. Ms. Grayson is licensed to practice before the Mississippi Supreme Court and is admitted to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. Contact Angela Grayson @ 479.259.2966 or 601.427.4773.