A patent provides you with the legal rights to an idea, product, application or invention, and prohibits others from using or replicating your product without your consent. Essentially, when you seek a patent, you gain legal ownership over your idea, preventing your competitors from replicating it. While seeking a patent can be a tedious process, it is usually well worth it. The following considers how much it costs to patent an idea, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Patent Application Costs

There is a fee simply for filing a patent application in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently, the fee for applying for a patent in the U.K. is between £230-280. According to Gov.UK – Patenting Your Invention, this fee includes the cost of the initial application fee, search, and substantive examination. The £50 difference is due to the fact that there is a greater fee associated with submitting your application through the post; applying online is less expensive.

The costs associated for filing a patent in the U.S. are similar, though there are adjustments to the fee based upon the type of patent being applied for. If you are filing a patent in the U.S., you should refer to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Application Filing Fees Schedule. The schedule outlines the costs for filing a patent vary depending on type (there is a $280 basic filing fee cost for utility patents, $180 basic filing fee cost for design or plant patents, and a $260 provisional filing application fee).

Other Costs Associated with Patenting an Idea

It is important to remember that a patent application fee alone is rarely the only cost that those seeking to patent an idea face; there are also costs associated with legal services (if sought), professional drawings, and minimum fees that vary for small entities, micro entities, etc. According to IPWatchDog, these fees can be very expensive, and may total up to $16,000, $500, and $730 respectively.

Of course, hiring an attorney – which is one of the costliest aspects of patenting an idea – is not mandatory. However, seeking legal assistance when applying for a patent is highly recommended; the process of patenting an idea can be extremely complex, and an attorney can improve the chances of the patent application being approved from the first time it is submitted. Professional drawings, on the other hand, should not be considered as optional – without professional drawings, it is unlikely that a patent will get approved.

The IP Watchdog article also reminds readers that how much you spend on a patent will depend largely on what you want to do with the patent, the market opportunities, and the value of your idea. The stronger patent that you have, the more money it will take to acquire; more complex ideas and patents require greater attention to technical details, research, and attorney time.

How Much Will a Patent Cost?

To conclude, the cost of a patent can range greatly. While simply filing for a patent application in either the U.S. or the U.K. may be limited to hundreds of dollars, the entire process, especially with legal fees, can total into the thousands. If you need to patent an idea, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of a professional.

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