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How Much Does a Patent Cost?

A lot of factors determine what you might pay for a patent, but our guide outlines some ballpark figures associated with filing for a patent.

Patent idea concept
February 21, 2023
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 5 min

If you’re interested in getting a patent for an inventor of yours, one of the first questions you’ll likely ask yourself is how much does a patent cost? Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer, because the price you pay will depend on many factors. That said, filing a patent can cost around $1,000 on the low end, but on the high end, it could clock in at $10,000+

In our guide below, we’ve provided some ballpark figures associated with filing and maintaining a patent to help give you a better idea of the costs you might be facing.

How Much Does a Patent Cost?

When filing for a patent, you’ll likely spend at least a couple thousand dollars—or more. For our purposes, we’ll address the fees associated with filing for a patent and then cover additional costs you may incur.


Patent Application Fees

So, how do you get a patent? You’ll begin by submitting an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If this is your first time filing for a patent, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of an attorney. Patent attorneys typically charge between $200 and $400 an hour, but if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you may be eligible for pro-bono legal assistance. You can, however, do it on your own, but you could wind up paying more in unnecessary fees if you’re unfamiliar with the process.

Whether you decide to go at it alone or with the help of an attorney, the next step involves determining what kind of patent you need to file with the USPTO. There are three kinds: design, utility, and plant.

Utility patents cover the creation of new processes, products, or machines, while design patents protect the visual qualities of a manufactured item, such as the unique surface design or distinct shape. As for plant patents, they protect newly invented or discovered plant varieties.

You must pay the associated application filing, search, and examination fees for each of these patents. Search fees go toward determining whether there is the same or similar patent already active, while examination fees cover the cost of reviewing your application.

To better understand what these costs might look like, we’ve outlined how much they assume you are filing as a small entity, which encompasses individual inventors and small businesses.

Utility Patent for a Small Entity

  • Application filing fee: $160
  • Patent search fee: $350
  • Examination fee: $400
  • Total: $910

Design Patent for a Small Entity

  • Application filing fee: $110
  • Patent search fee: $80
  • Examination fee: $320
  • Total: $510

Plant Patent for a Small Entity

  • Application filing fee: $110
  • Patent search fee: $220
  • Examination fee: $330
  • Total: $660


Post-Filing Fees

Now, it’s important to note that filing for a patent isn’t always linear. Sometimes, you’ll need to respond to Office Actions before moving forward.

For instance, once you submit your application to the USPTO, an examiner will review your submission. If they reject it, you’ll have an opportunity to make adjustments and resubmit, and after two rejections, you can appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

It’s common to experience this back and forth with an examiner, but each of these required actions does come with its own set of fees. Moreover, you may face late fees and extension fees if you don't meet the deadlines. Because there can be a lot to keep track of, this is one of the reasons why many first-time submissions often benefit from legal advice.

Example Patent Trial and Appeals Fees for a Small Entity

  • Notice of appeal: $420
  • Petitions to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge: $420
  • Request for an oral hearing: $680


Approval Fees

Once the USPTO accepts your application and allows your patent, you still make payments! You'll still need to pay a round of patent issue and publication fees three months from your Notice of Allowance date.

Issue and Publication Fees for a Small Entity

  • Utility issue fee: $600
  • Design issue fee: $370
  • Plant issue fee: $420


Maintenance Fees

You will need to fork out additional cash if you want to keep your patent active over the years, but fortunately, it’s not a yearly expense. You’ll make payments at fixed intervals to maintain or reissue your patent.

  • Due at 3.5 years: $1,000
  • Due at 7.5 years: $1,880
  • Due at 11.5 years: $3,850

Now that you better understand how to get a patent and what’s involved in the process, you can see how and why the pricing can drastically vary on a case-by-case basis. If you have additional questions about pricing, you may want to consult an attorney for advice on your specific circumstance.

Patent FAQs

A patent is a type of intellectual property that grants you the rights to your invention.

You can apply for a patent through the USPTO. They provide a step-by-step process outlining how to file a submission based on your invention.

Getting a patent is worth it if you want to keep your invention private. Doing so prevents other businesses from making money off your unique process, product, or design.

It depends. Our guide above outlines some of the costs you can expect to incur, depending on your circumstance.

No, you can file for a patent without an attorney. However, we recommend requesting legal advice as a professional can help you navigate the application process.

You can apply for the Patent Pro Bono Program to receive free legal advice, but you’re still required to pay the application fees associated with filing a patent.

Fortunately, you don’t need to pay a yearly fee to maintain your patent. However, you must pay a maintenance fee at fixed intervals to keep your patent active, including after 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years.

Turn to EZ Texting Today

Getting a patent is one of the many elements of running a business. In addition to looking into patents and trademarks, you should have a solid marketing strategy, and that’s where EZ Texting can help. Our SMS marketing solution can help boost your customer engagement and increase customer retention. Contact us today and book a demo or start for free (no credit card required) to learn more!

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