To create a monopoly by preventing another from practicing your invention is serious business and should not be presumed as an easy or cheap task.
The average fee charged by a reputable attorney for a patent application is:
- Between $4,000 to $5,000 for a provisional patent application
- Between $7,000 to $10,000 for a non-provisional application.
- Bigger law firms may charge more due to increased overhead.
Why does it cost so much?
As an industry practice, patent attorneys charge by the hour. While we may be able to offer a flat fee pricing, behind the scenes each quote involves a good faith effort to guess the number of hours we might spend on your matter.
But ‘xyz professional’ that I found Online is much cheaper. Why so?
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous professionals out there who will happily take your money but fail to deliver results. You will find numerous Online professionals offering a “too good to be true” pricing/ fee structure.
Since a patent professional is going to calculate the number of hours they spend on your matter those offering to draft a non-provisional utility application for $3,500, with an hourly rate of between $300-$500, would probably spend between 7-12 hours on the matter (depending on their billing rate). However, this is not good enough. Further, you should be wary of a professional offering a lower hourly rate (there’s a demand for patent professionals; if a professional is offering a lower hourly rate, ask yourself why is this professional offering their services below market? There is always a catch!)
Are patent agents basically attorneys, but cheaper?
Absolutely not! Agents are usually a good option when they work under the guidance of an attorney. Agents can assist with writing applications and are familiar with the procedural requirements of patent law, but they are not trained to be lawyers and are legally allowed to offer advise (and generally have poor knowledge) about the substance of the law (that is law decided in court). Why is this important? Because obtaining a patent is only one step. If you cannot enforce your rights after obtaining a patent (which requires legal action), what good is your patent?
The problem with the cheaper xyz professional you found Online.
Once examination of your application begins, you will start receiving office action rejections (as is the norm). However, if the application is not well drafted, you may get stuck in a “hell-hole” resulting in repetitive rejections that soon becomes prohibitively expensive. The result: you are forced to abandon the application — thousands of dollars wasted with nothing received in return.
To summarize: if you opt for a “not so cheap” service you might land up paying a little more ( depending on the attorneys hourly billable rate).
However, if you select a cheap service, you may not get anything at all.
You are also encouraged to read our tips on how to select a patent attorney.