Businesses need to protect their inventions and innovations from being copied or stolen, or they won’t be in business for long. You’ve put time and money into creating new products and services, and that effort should benefit you and not your competitors. A patent is part of your investment, but it’s the only part with teeth that can protect the rest of your investment.
What is a patent?
A patent is a protection granted by the government to exclude others from making and selling your invention. A patent can be used to guard the functional features of your product with a utility patent, or its aesthetics with a design patent.
What are the benefits of a patent?
Obtaining a patent can provide several benefits, including:
- Exclusive right: A patent provides its owner with the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention which can help a business gain a competitive advantage in the market.
- Attract Investors: A patent can legally protect the investment made by an investor, as it prevents others from producing or selling the same invention. They prefer to invest in business legally protected by a patent then not.
- Competitive advantage: A patent can provide a company with a competitive advantage in the market, making it more likely to succeed and generate a profit.
How will we help you get your patent?
We guide you through each step and help you with a strategy for protecting your invention. It’s much more than just doing a patent search and filing a patent application; those are only parts of the process.
Together we establish the design criteria of the invention, which are what the patent will protect. We also prevent you from wasting time and money on what doesn’t work or undermines your goals. Here is a video on the ways a patent attorney can and must help you.
Before scheduling your consultation with a patent attorney, you should do three easy things to save time and money. These things will help you to get more out of the consultation.
- Conduct your informal novelty search (e.g., google image search).
- Ensure your idea is a big-money idea (i.e., large market cap).
- Build a prototype (not required, but very helpful).
Here is an in-depth article on each step: Steps to take before spending money on a patent attorney.
The video explains how to do these things.
The costs for preparing and filing a patent application with the help of a patent attorney vary widely. In general, my fees will range between $8,000 to $12,000 for a mechanical-based invention.
If you have done the three things above and the fees are affordable and within your budget, please schedule your consultation.
The average cost of a granted patent will be between $15,500 to $28,000.
However, to get started with your product launch, you don’t need to spend that much money. You need about $8,000 to $12,000 to file a patent application so your invention can reach patent pending status.
With patent pendency you can share your idea with others. You can have confidence knowing that others can’t grab a patent for your idea.
About 2 years after filing, you’ll incur additional costs to respond to any office actions from the Patent Office. The cost to prepare those responses would be around $5,000 to $10,000.
Read my article on “How much does a patent cost?“
No. As with other investments, like buying a rental property or putting up new construction, you pay the costs of acquiring a patent over time, in stages.
Generally, the only major expenses up-front are the patent search and the patent application. A patent search costs about $1,500 to $2,000. A patent application will cost between $8,000 to $15,000.
After filing the patent application, you are clear to produce and market your invention, at least from a legal standpoint. After 1 to 3 years, you will receive your first office action. By that time, we hope, the profits from your great idea will cover the the patent costs and make them seem small.
A patent search costs $1,500 for a mechanical invention and $2,000 for a software invention.
A patent application will cost between $8,000 to $15,000, depending on the type invention being patented.
Read “How much does a nonprovisional patent application cost?“
Payment is made before the patent search is conducted. Patent searches are labor-intensive on the part of the attorney, so the client needs a little skin in the game.
For the patent application, you’ll pay half of the quoted amount up-front and the second half after we deliver the first draft of the patent application to you.
My hourly billing rate is between $395 to $600 depending on the type of matter being resolved. Some legal matters call for a flat fee.
That may sound expensive, and arguably it is, but a little bit of time with an experienced patent attorney goes a long way. Also, it’s trivial when compared to the costs of bad patent advice, “winging it,” or not protecting your investment.
At a minimum, you can use the 7 Step Patent Search Strategy suggested by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
You can also conduct a Google Images search for your product. Simple type a few descriptive words into Google, click search, click on “Images,” and look through the images to find your invention.
You can also use these websites to search for your invention: Patent Search Websites
Big-money ideas are the only ideas worth getting a patent on. That doesn’t mean your other inventions or ideas aren’t good, but simply that there may not be enough money in each of them to justify a patent.
A big money idea is an inventive product or service in which the market cap is very large. In that case, the market cap is so large that even if you were moderately successful, you’d be able to make a substantial profit and make the costs of the patent inconsequential.
Eventually, you should make a prototype. The prototype shows proof of concept. The prototype shows that your invention can work how you intend it to work.
However, sometimes, it’s better to do a novelty search before building the prototype. If the novelty search reveals that you can’t get a patent, you might not need to build a prototype at all. You would go on to your next idea.
In general, I recommend you make a prototype of your invention if you can do so cost-efficiently or cheaply. You will learn a lot about the invention, and you may want to make another, more-refined prototype. You might also learn that it won’t work, in which case you’ve saved yourself a lot of money and time.
To schedule a consultation, please:
- Review the cost of a patent search and patent application (see above questions).
- If the costs are feasible and you prefer them to the very costly alternatives, please call me at (949) 433-0900 to schedule your consultation. Alternatively, you can use my online calendar.