If you or your business has invented a novel product, process or design, you likely have numerous questions about how to legally protect your creative work. If you had developed an original work of authorship or artistry, you would need to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you were seeking to protect words, graphics or other expressions used to distinguish your company or its goods and services in the marketplace, you would need to apply for a trademark. However, because you have invented a novel product, process or design, you will need to secure a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This process can be intimidating because the patent application process is notoriously the most time consuming, nuanced, complex and expensive intellectual property protection process in the U.S. Thankfully, you do not have to navigate this process alone. Working with an experienced intellectual property attorney can help you to ensure that this process is as efficient, cost-effective and successful as possible.
How Much Does the Patent Process Cost?
One of the primary concerns that inventors and innovative businesses face when approaching the patent process involves financial investment. “How much does the patent process cost?” is often a pressing concern. The answer to this question is complex, in that it depends on your unique circumstances. The more complex your invention, the longer it will take to properly explain and illustrate within your patent application. Similarly, if your invention shares fundamental characteristics with any current products, processes or designs that are already legally protected, it will take longer to conduct a novelty search of existing patents in an effort to prove that your work is indeed, original. In short, the more complex your work is, the longer it will take an experienced intellectual property attorney to help you complete and file your patent application.
“Specifically,” you might be asking, “How much does a patent cost?” Generally speaking, it can cost a minimum of roughly $1,000 and a maximum of roughly $25,000 or so in order to secure a patent. It is safe to say that most patent application filers will need to invest a few thousand dollars in order to secure a patent. In addition to legal fees paid to the intellectual property attorney you will hire in order to help complete the application and conduct a novelty search before filing your petition, you will need to pay fees to the government associated with your application. If you are a small business or individual inventor and do not have numerous patents already, you will qualify for a significant discount on most standard filing fees. For example, the standard application filing fee for a utility patent is $300. However, inventors that can be appropriately classified as “small entities” or “micro entities” only have to pay between $150-$75 for this fee. Similar discounts apply to nearly every relevant patent application fee that small businesses and individual inventors are compelled to submit with their petitions.
How Do I Keep the Cost of Securing a Patent Manageable?
The most important thing you can do to keep the costs associated with securing a patent down involves “doing it right the first time.” If your initial patent application is rejected, you will need to appeal that decision. The appeals process is expensive, as it requires more time from your attorney and more filing fees. Most importantly, failing to secure your patent as quickly and effectively as possible will leave both you and your creative work vulnerable to various (and potentially costly) legal consequences. Namely, if you do not secure your patent as a result of your initial non-provisional patent application, your appeal may be rejected because prior art has emerged since your original application was submitted. Similarly, if you need to submit multiple applications before you secure a patent, someone could sue you now or later for use of your own invention on the grounds that they came up with it first and secured legal protections for your work before you could. The financial investment involved in working with a knowledgeable intellectual property attorney in order to successfully obtain a patent “the first time” can be relatively significant. However, it can be far more costly to have your application rejected because it was incomplete, lacked proper support, etc. An attorney can help to ensure that your initial application is as likely to succeed as is possible, which is a reality that will almost certainly save you money in the long-run.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you or your business has invented a new product, process or design and you are interested in filing a patent application, please schedule a consultation with the experienced intellectual property attorneys at LawTrades today. Our team is dedicated to helping individual inventors and innovative businesses secure and enforce intellectual property protections in a cost-effective, efficient and thorough manner. We look forward to hearing about your invention and to assisting you through the patent application process.