Are you thinking about patenting your business idea but don't know where to start? One of the most important things to consider before filing a patent application is the business patent cost. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a patent cost overview, including all the fees associated with patent applications, attorney and agent fees, and other pieces you'll need to consider when considering filing a patent application.
This article breaks down everything you need to know about business patent cost so that you can make an informed decision. It covers the basic costs of submitting a patent application, such as US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filing fees, as well as additional expenses like legal counsel and agent fees. By discovering patents’ various costs in this article, you’ll be able to assess whether it’s financially feasible for your business idea to pursue a patent application.
Discovering Patents: Their Definition and Price
Patent is a grant issued by the government that gives legal rights to an inventor or entity to exclude others from making, selling, or using their invention for a certain period. Time patents last varies based on the type of patent—utility, design or plant—and the country it was filed in. International patents are also available for those looking to protect their invention outside their home country.
The actual inventor can file for a patent, but an entity—large or small—can also file if they have acquired the rights to the invention. Basic patent fees vary based on whether it's an application or provisional application, and what type of patent is being applied for. Additional fees include search fees, examination fees, and patent agent fees.
Overall, current fees can add up quickly when filing for a patent. However, the benefits of having a patent include protection from infringement and monetization through licensing agreements or sales of the patented technology. It's important to do your research beforehand to make sure you're not overpaying for these legal protections.
1. Provisional Patent (PPA)
A provisional patent application (PPA) is a type of patent application that allows inventors to establish an early filing date for their invention. This means that if the inventor decides to pursue a non-provisional patent, they can use the PPA's filing date as the official date of their patent application. The best part? Filing a PPA requires less paperwork and comes with a lower fee than filing a regular patent application.
However, it's important to note that a provisional patent isn't the same thing as an actual non-provisional patent. While it does give inventors time to develop their invention further and file for final filing later on, it doesn't provide any legal protection until the actual non-provisional patent is granted. Nevertheless, thanks to the America Invents Act, inventors can now file quickly and enjoy more flexibility in terms of their file status.
2. Utility Patent (General Non-Provisional)
A utility patent is a non-provisional patent called a "general" patent, which is the most common type of patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This type of patent can protect new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture or any improvement thereof. A utility patent includes internet patents, which are patents that cover inventions related to software or business methods.
When filing for a utility patent, it is important to keep in mind that the process can be expensive as it involves hiring an attorney and paying fees to the USPTO. Additionally, the application will be reviewed by a patent examiner who will determine if your invention meets all of the requirements necessary to obtain a valid patent. However, obtaining a utility patent can provide strong legal protection for your invention and allow you to prevent others from using, making or selling your invention without your permission.
3. Design patent
Design patent refers to the legal protection granted to an ornamental design of a functional item. The cost of design patent application varies depending on the complexity and scope of the design. Compared to a full utility patent, which protects the function and structure of an invention, a design patent is more affordable as it only covers the appearance of an object. If you have a unique shoe design that you want to protect from imitation, applying for a design patent can safeguard your intellectual property and give you exclusive rights over your creation.
4. Plant patent
What is a Plant Patent?
A plant patent is a type of business patent that protects a new and distinct variety of plant. The plant must be asexually reproduced cultivated or hybrids distinct from existing varieties. The patent gives the owner exclusive rights to sell, use, and propagate the plant variety for up to 20 years.
Plant patents can be beneficial for businesses in the agriculture industry who have invested time and money into developing unique plant varieties that would not exist without their efforts. By obtaining a plant patent, businesses can protect their investment and prevent competitors from profiting off of their hard work. However, the cost of obtaining a plant patent can be high, so it's important for businesses to weigh the potential benefits against the cost before pursuing this type of patent.
When it comes to obtaining a business patent, there are several costs involved. The initial cost of filing a patent application is just the beginning. There may be additional fees and charges associated with the patent process, including legal fees, maintenance fees, and examination fees. These costs can quickly add up, so it's important to budget accordingly and plan ahead for any potential expenses. It's also important to work with a qualified patent attorney who can help navigate the complex legal landscape of the patenting process and ensure that your intellectual property is protected to its fullest extent.
6. Size of Business or Filing Entity
When it comes to patent fees, the size of your business or filing entity can have a big impact on the cost. The USPTO site includes reduced fees for small entities, which can include independent inventors, qualifying small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, and others who meet specific criteria. These reduced fees can be significant - for example, the application fee reduces from $800 for a regular patent to just $400 for a small entity.
But it's important to note that not all small entities are created equal when it comes to patent fees. Micro-entities, which are a subset of small entities that have even fewer employees and lower maximum qualifying gross income, may be eligible for an even lower fee amount. So if you're looking to file a patent as a small entity, be sure to check the specific qualifications and fee amounts carefully before submitting your application.
7. Patent Search Fees
Patent search fees are an important consideration for any business looking to apply for a patent. A patent search is the process of checking current patents and patent applications to see if your invention is already patented or pending. A quick search can be done online for free, but for a more comprehensive search, it's best to hire a professional patent searcher or use a helpful patent search tutorial. Keep in mind that fees may vary depending on whether you're searching domestically or internationally, and on the size of the patent collections worldwide that need to be searched.
Note: Before filing for a business patent, it's important to conduct a complete search to ensure that your invention is unique and doesn't infringe on any existing patents. This can be a time-consuming process, but it's worth the effort to avoid potential legal issues down the line. Hiring a patent attorney or agent can also be helpful in navigating the complex patent application process and ensuring that all necessary documentation is submitted correctly. While the cost of hiring a professional may seem daunting at first, it can ultimately save you time and money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring that your patent is approved as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to get a product patented?
The cost of patenting a product varies depending on the type of patent, the complexity of the invention, and the services used. On average, total costs can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more.
What is the average price for a patent?
The average cost for a patent varies and can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more depending on the complexity of the invention, the type of patent application, and legal fees. It is important to consult with a patent attorney for an accurate estimate.
How much do patents typically cost?
The cost of a patent application typically ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the complexity of the invention and the amount of legal support needed. However, ongoing maintenance fees can also add up over time.
Why are legal fees for patent application so expensive?
Legal fees for patent application are expensive because the process involves a lot of research, drafting, and time-consuming tasks that require specialized expertise. Additionally, patent attorneys have to ensure that the application meets all legal requirements and can withstand scrutiny from examiners, which adds to the cost.