Patents are a legal right to create a monopoly. What most new inventors do not realize is that creating such a monopoly is not cheap. There are so many professionals who advertise “too good to be true” fees online. Some professionals even claim to get a “provisional patent” for as low as $99, however, those are no more than a marketing ploy to deceive new inventors. In our opinion, using our free patent application generator will put you at a much better place than using unscrupulous actors. But this is not an advertisement to promote our services, so let’s get back to the question posed in the title.
Cost of obtaining a patent
Realistically, legal fee to correctly draft a provisional patent application can cost anywhere from $2,500 for a simple invention to $5,000 for a complicated one. Drafting costs for non-provisional applications can be anywhere from $5,000 (simple) to $10,000 (complicated). And this is just for the initial filing.
After a successful filing of a non-provisional patent application, examination of the application starts within 2-4 years. Applicants should be prepared to receive office action rejections. In an office action rejection the examiner lays out the reason why a patent cannot be granted on the claimed subject matter. However, there is nothing to fear as this is the norm and part of the patent process.
You may amend the claims and resubmit them for examination. The examiner will then review the amendments and let you know if a patent can be awarded or not. In effect, applicant is negotiating with the examiner as to what can be patented.
As far as costs go, an attorney will be able to let you know the number of hours he or she expects to spend on a response to an office action. Each response can cost anywhere between $400 and $4,500, depending on the number of hours spent by the attorney. At an average, one should expect to spend around $3,000 in legal fee for each office action rejection.
One should be prepared to go over this process (of receiving a rejection and filing an amendment) 2-3 times though.
To add it all up, one should be prepared to spend around $20,000-$25,000 over the course of 2-4 years in order to obtain a meaningful patent.