The Patent Process
The Typical Steps in Obtaining and Maintaining a Patent for Your Invention includes:
A Novelty Search
Novelty searches and opinions help you identify whether your specific invention is patentable over the found prior art. These novelty search can be helpful in deciding the best means of protecting your invention, including whether to file a patent application. We perform the novelty search using your enabling disclosure to discover published documents. Once the search is performed, we will assess whether a Patent Examiner is likely to allow the invention in view of the found published documents.
Legal Fee – Typically at a flat rate of $400, although the rate may vary depending on the scope of the search. If your novelty search were to come back negative, our representation of you in this matter would probably conclude at this step, unless additional information can be provided that distinguishes the invention from the found published documents.
If you would like us to review your enabling disclosure and set up a time to discuss, please submit a confidential invention disclosure form or schedule a free consultation.
Preparation and Filing of a U.S. Provisional Patent Application
A Provisional Patent Application (PPA) serves as a placeholder for the Applicant, as the PPA allows for the future filing of a Nonprovisional Patent Application to claim the benefit of priority to the PPA. This effectively provides the Applicant up to 12 months to market the invention and prepare the Nonprovisional Patent Application.
Legal Fee – Typically at a flat rate of approximately $600-$1,000, with the exact amount depending upon the complexity of your invention and the effort required to fully claim it.
Preparation and Filing of a
U.S. Nonprovisional Patent Application
A Nonprovisional Patent Application (Utility) protects the functional aspects of your invention and if granted provides up to 20 years of patent protection from the date of the earliest effective patent application for your invention.
Legal Fee – A flat rate of approximately between $3,000-$7,000, with the exact amount depending upon the complexity of your invention (e.g., for a simple mechanical product – $3,000) and the effort required to fully claim it.
Expenses – USPTO Filing Fees – usually $430, assuming you are entitled to pay “micro entity” fees and do not wish to expedite the USPTO’s examination of your patent application, plus expected expenses, such as patent drawing fees.
Preparation and Filing of a Design Patent Application
A Nonprovisional Patent Application (Design) protects the ornamental aspects of your invention and if granted provides up to 15 years of patent protection from the date of issuance.
Legal Fee – A flat rate of approximately between $1,000-$2,000, with the exact amount depending upon the complexity of your invention and the effort required to fully claim it.
Expenses – USPTO Filing Fees – usually $240, assuming you are entitled to pay “micro entity” fees and do not wish to expedite the USPTO’s examination of your patent application, plus expected expenses, such as patent drawing fees.
Written Responses to the USPTO
After the filing of a Nonprovisional Patent Application the USPTO will issue a response once your application has been examined. In most circumstances, the initial response will be in the form of an Office Action. All Office Actions require a response within a statutorily recognized time in order to advance prosecution.
Legal Fee – A flat rate of approximately between $1,000 – $3,000 per response. Recognizing that a response to more than one Office Action may be required, it is important to discuss your goals prior to filing the response in an effort to fulfill your business objectives.
Notice of Allowance
Once a Nonprovisional Patent Application is allowed, the USPTO will issue a Notice of Allowance that requires a payment of an Issue Fee.
Legal Fee – Approximately $300.
Expenses – USPTO Issuance Fee – $250 (assuming the Applicant is a “micro entity”).
Patent Maintenance Fees To Extend The Life/Term Of Your Patent
To extend the term of the life of your Utility patent to its maximum of 20 years from the earliest effective filing date of your patent, you will need to pay “micro entity” maintenance fees of $400, $900 and $1,850 on the respective 3rd, 7th and 11th year anniversaries of the date of issuance of your patent (assuming the Owner is a “micro entity”).
Foreign Patent Applications
Depending upon your interest in foreign patent protection, within twelve months of filing a U.S. patent application or prior to your invention’s public disclosure, you will need to apply for your foreign patent rights – typically by filing what is known as a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Application.
Legal Fee – It is hoped the initial legal fees can be held to a flat rate of approximately between $2,000 or less in addition to the above listed Utility Patent Application Legal Fee.
Expenses – typical initial PCT filing expenses are approximately $2,000, depending on the page count of the application. Significant, additional service and legal fees will be incurred as we coordinate with foreign law firms for the prosecution of any foreign patent application resulting from the PCT filing.