Costs Involved With Filing A Patent Application

If you've creating something truly noteworthy, it's only natural that you want to get to work right away, using your new invention or concept to save the world. But before you make your discovery public knowledge, don't forget to protect yourself. Filing for a patent is the best way to make sure no one takes credit for your idea and ends up legally profiting off your work. But filing a patent isn't cheap. If you want to protect yourself and your legacy, you might end up having to pay over $5,000 to make sure your idea is safe from thieves and copycats. So how much can you actually expect to spend on a patent, and is it worth the money? If you're in the market for a patent, here are a few things to think about. The information provided here is for general information only and should not be used as legal advice.

Costs Involved With Filing A Patent Application

  1. The Cost Depends On The Product. Not every patent or provisional patent requires the same amount of money from the start. While some inventions can cost under a thousand dollars to protect with or without the help of a lawyer, others can really rack up costs. Whether you're patenting a new invention or a new type of hybrid cheese, you'll need to plan on paying anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on how you file and what kind of help you're getting. At minimum, plan on paying at least $900 for your application.
  2. It Also Depends On What Kind Of Tech You're Using. Even though everyone has to pay something to the USPTO to protect their work, the type of invention you're protecting will determine the price more often than not. For instance. if you've created a new type of technology or a new feature that will be used in future devices such as TVs or smartphones for years to come, the price will be higher than an application for something basic, like a paper clip or a new type of low-tech appliance.
  3. You'll Need To Pay For A Provisional Patent As Well. Before you get your patent proper, you'll need to apply for a provisional patent, which helps protect you and your work while your patent application is still pending. Since patent applications can take a fairly long time to process, you'll need this provisional patent in order to stay safe. However, it also has a price. A provisional patent application starts at $65 and can easily go to $9,000 depending on what you're filing for.
  4. Having A Lawyer Makes All The Difference. Though it might seem seductive to try and save money on the whole process by not hiring a lawyer, think again: There are many cases in which patent applications are filed incorrectly, creating a stall in the process, and others where a patent becomes totally worthless simply due to a lack of legal help. For best results, always retain an experienced lawyer to help you through this complex process.

What If Someone Tries To Steal My Idea?

Having a patent guarantees that your work is protected and provides documented proof that the idea or invention belongs to you as your property. However, that doesn't mean that people still won't try to profit off your work without paying their dues. If you're aware of someone trying to claim credit for your idea, use your device or concept without permission, or trying to profit off of a technology you made possible, you need to act fast. Have your lawyer draft a cease and desist letter first. If the behavior doesn't stop, you'll need to file a lawsuit. Even if your patent is still provisional, you'll be protected under the law as the rightful owner of your intellectual property.

Patent Applications In The 20 Top Countries 2015- 2016

Country Total Applications Submitted in 2015 Total Applications Submitted in 2016
Australia 28605 28394
Brazil 30219 28010
Canada 36964 34745
China 1101864 1338503
China, Hong Kong SAR 12212 14092
European Patent Office 160028 159358
France 16300 16218
Germany 66893 67899
India 45658 45057
Indonesia 9153 8538
Iran 14279 15632
Italy 9687 9821
Japan 318721 318381
Korea 213694 208830
Mexico 18071 17413
Russia 45517 41587
Singapore 10814 10980
South Africa 7497 9711
United Kingdom 22801 22059
United States 589410 605571

How Do I Know Whether To Trademark Or Patent My Work?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between copyrights, trademarking, and patents. The distinction is simple: While a copyright can protect a work of art, literature, or body of artistic work, a trademark is used to protect business-related designs and slogans, such as company logos or mascots. A patent, on the other hand, refers to an invention, concept, or piece of technology that's a bit more tangible. While you can still patent an idea, it has to be unique enough and have a concrete purpose in order to be protected. For instance, while cloud-based software can be patented, "The Cloud" as a name or slogan can be trademarked.

Utility Patents Filed Vs. Accepted By The USPTO, 2007 - 2017

Year Applications Filed Patents Granted
2007 439,578 157,282
2008 466,258 157,772
2009 458,901 167,349
2010 479,332 219,614
2011 504,089 224,505
2012 542,815 253,155
2013 564,007 277,835
2014 579,873 300,678
2015 578,121 298,407
2016 607,753 310,462
2017 602,354 315,409

In Depth

If you're ready to unleash a new invention on the world, you probably can't wait to tell everyone you know about it. But hold on a minute: If you've got a new idea or invention that's truly mindblowing, you don't want to put it out there until you know it's totally protected. There are tons of stories about inventions and ideas being stolen from under the noses of their original inventors.

It happens all the time, even to huge moguls like Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who had to sue Barnes and Noble in 1997 for the use of his then-original online "shopping cart express" concept. If Bezos can be robbed of something as simple as a one-click purchase online, the same thing could happen to you. But even if you're ready to file your patent, one question remains. Do you have the money, and is it worth it?

If you care about protecting your intellectual property, you won't think twice about putting down some cash. The world of patent law is complex, involving a lot of intrigue and backstabbing, with some companies creating "patent thickets" to buy up every aspect of a tech device's new technology and sue anyone for using them. Consider what happened to Glenn Curtiss, a pilot who was sued by the Wright Brothers in 1908 just for building an airplane using their technology.

Consider what happened to Glenn Curtiss, a pilot who was sued by the Wright Brothers in 1908 just for building an airplane using their technology.

Curtiss was sued just for using the only existing blueprints, and it ended up hurting his career. You can't let this happen to you. Be sure to read our quick guide on filling out a patent application smoothly, found right on this page. Scroll beneath this video to connect with a lawyer who knows everything about patent law. Ready to protect your intellectual property? Here's what you need to know.

#1: Costs Vary. The first thing you're likely to read about filing a patent application is that it can cost anywhere from $900 to $10,000 depending on how much help you have and what you're applying for. But before you let those numbers intimidate you, let's put it into perspective.

When the creators of the Superman comic, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first thought up the idea of a world-saving hero with a double life, they must not have believed in it, because they sold the rights to DC comics in 1938 for a meager $130.

When the creators of the Superman comic, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first thought up the idea of a world-saving hero with a double life, they must not have believed in it, because they sold the rights to DC comics in 1938 for a meager $130.

The two men ended up broke and forgotten. Imagine how rich they could have been if they'd trademarked or patented their idea. Even if they'd paid $10,000 to do it, they'd have been sitting on millions within ten years.

#2: Different Applications Have Different Price Tags. An important thing to remember is that not all patents require the same amount of cash. For instance, a minor, analog invention, like a post-it, could range around $5,000 to patent, while a high-tech invention, such as a smartphone, could cost around $12,000.

Whatever you do, don't make the mistake that Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television technology, did when he didn't put down the cash to file for a patent for his "image dissector." The Radio Corporation Of America found a way to get the patent first, and left Farnsworth destitute.

The Radio Corporation Of America found a way to get the patent first, and left Farnsworth destitute.

If you don't want this to happen to you, don't waste any time. Check out our guide on getting your patent application approved quickly, found on this page. Simply scroll below this video to get in touch with a lawyer who will make sure you never lose your rights to your invention.

#3: You Need To Pay For A Provisional Patent First. Before you pay for your patent application, you'll need to get a provisional patent. This is a protective patent that keeps you safe from thieves while you're waiting for the real thing to come through. The cost for this can range anywhere from $65 to $5,000. Still, you don't want to be caught with your pants down while your patent is still being processed.

#4: Hiring A Lawyer Could Actually Lower The Cost. Even if you're wondering how anyone manages to afford a patent, the truth is that the initial cost is low in comparison to the kind of money you could make should your invention take off.

Even if you're wondering how anyone manages to afford a patent, the truth is that the initial cost is low in comparison to the kind of money you could make should your invention take off.

We're not lawyers, and this isn't legal advice, but hiring a lawyer could end up saving you money in the long run simply by speeding up the process and keeping you protected more securely against thieves and copycats.

If the chemist John Walker, who invented matches, had a lawyer defending him back in the day, he wouldn't have forgotten about his revolutionary invention, allowing others to swoop in and steal it from under him. If you don't want this to happen to you, you need to make sure you have a lawyer you trust to keep you protected.

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