Project Description

How Much Does A Patent Cost?

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve spoken with dozens of start up CEOs who are shocked to hear the cost of filing a patent application. In short, a patent can cost anywhere between $5,000 – $15,000+. The cost of obtaining a patent largely depends on the complexity of the invention and the law firm. Moreover, the cost of a patent is comprised of attorney’s fees and the Patent Office fees. Here is a breakdown of each:

How Does Complexity Effect The Cost Of A Patent?

A simple invention such as a toy or a rotating shoe stand will cost the applicant somewhere in the range of $5,000-$8,000, or the lowest end of the cost spectrum mentioned above. A more complicated mechanical invention, such an electric skateboard or a weed wacker, will cost somewhere between $8,000-$11,000. Software based patent applications are considered to be the most complex and time consuming. A large law firm will charge around $9,000 – $15,000 to file and prosecute a software based patent application.

How Does the geographic location and size of the law firm effect my costs?

You’re costs are dependent on the size of the law firm you choose and the geographic location of the law firm. Law firms in bigger markets often charge higher rates than law firms in smaller markets. Moreover, large law firms will often charge higher rates than smaller boutiques. For instance, a top 200 law firm will charge higher rates than a four person boutique firm in the same metropolitan area. 

Moreover, a law firm in a small city, such as Orlando, Florida, will charge less to draft the patent application than a law firm in a larger market, such as Palo Alto, California. This is due to the much higher over head costs in the Palo Alto, California area and costs of living in the area. 

Patent Office fees:
Here is a list of the current fees that the Patent Office charges for micro entities*:

  • Provisional patent application filing fee – $65 
  • Non-provisional patent application filing fee – $70
  • Utility search fee – $150
  • Utility examination fee – $180
  • Maintenance fee (due 3.5 years after your patent is allowed) – $400
  • Maintenance fee (due 7.5 years after your patent is allowed) – $900
  • Maintenance fee (due 11.5 years after your patent is allowed) – $1,850

*You’re a micro entity if: you are not named in more than 4 previously filed patent applications, you don’t have a gross income more than three times the median household income in the previous year, and you’re under no obligation to assign ownership of the patent to another entity that isn’t a micro entity.