What does a patent cost? Every innovator may have asked himself this question. Not many things in life are for free and also not the application for a patent. Unfortunately there are no fixed prices. Therefore today we will inform you about the factors which influence the costs of a patent.
Which Factors Influence the Budget for a Patent Application?
Answering the following questions clarifies the range of your costs.
- In which countries shall your innovation be patent-protected?
- How long shall your patent be protected?
- How complex is your patent? Do you want to apply a 10-sided patent of a mechanics innovation or a 100-sided one for pharmaceuticals?
At Which Points Do Costs Arise?
You have to pay charges at the respective patent office. For instance you have to pay annual charges for the maintenance of your patent.
A further cost factor is the fee for a patent attorney
Which fees accrue at the patent office?
During the complete process of patent application several fees have to be paid. These include
- the application fee,
- the fee for the search request
- and the examination fee.
But also after the application further fees arise as the patent is an examined property right. In a verification procedure the patent office examines whether all requirements are accomplished. At this step also costs are essentially higher with the EPA than at the DPMA.
Which services of the patent attorney will I have to pay?
Patent attorneys advise you extensively and efficiently before and after the application of your patent. In one-to-one-appointments all important requirements are clarified and the attorney will work with you to make sure that your patent application is as promising as possible. If you have general questions before a personal consultation, you can contact us for your individual email consultation (this offer is free of charge and without any obligation for you). The patent attorney also works out the application forms, as professional expertise is highly required at this point to avoid dangerous mistakes. Furthermore the patent attorney lends his support in consultation during the entire procedure of the registration. He advocates you in all matters in front of the patent office.
When you apply for a patent beyond Germany, you also have to consider that costs for the translation will arise and foreign representatives have to be paid.
Will additional costs arise after the assignation of the patent?
Yes, even after your patent is granted, you have to prepare yourself for further costs. You have to regularly pay annual charges to maintain your patent. The annual fees can be looked up in the scale of charges of the DPMA (dpma.de/patent/gebuehren/index.html) and the EPA (http://www.epo.org/applying/forms-fees/fees_de.html).
Moreover additional costs can emerge if third parties (for instance competing businesses) feel that their own freedom of movement on the market is affected by your new patent. Even after it has already been granted, these third parties can still file an objection or task nullity proceedings, in order to fight your patent. Of course you will have to defend yourself in this situation.
So in General: What Do I Have to Consider?
As you can see, it isn’t very easy to provide accurate information about the costs of a patent. Without any personal consultation it is very difficult to say how much you will have to pay for your application. In each case, a solid financing concept is essential, because it can be very dangerous to only budget the costs for the application itself, as litigations cannot always be avoided.
Update of 13 October 2020:
The USPTO has also largely increased its fees as of October 2020, the EPO updated its fees in April 2020. We have therefore compiled a new overview that answers this question:
What are the specific costs to be expected at the EPO and USPTO for a patent application from October 2020?
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