Step 1: Novelty Search
Utility patent: The first step in the patent process is a novelty search. For design patents, see the FAQs below.
This is where we conduct a search of the database at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The cost for this step is $1,500 for a mechanical product. If your invention has software or electronics, then the cost will rise to $2,000.
The novelty search takes about two (2) weeks to complete.
Step 2: Patent Application
The second step is preparation and filing of a patent application. The patent application is prepared and filed if the novelty search shows that you can get a patent.
The cost for the second step is about $8,000 to $12,000 for a mechanical invention. For an electronic or software invention, the cost is about $10,000 to $15,000. To get a firm-fixed-price, we would have to schedule a consultation so that I can understand your invention.
It will take about 4 to 6 weeks to prepare and file the patent application.
The cost to prepare and file a patent application is about the same regardless of whether it is a provisional or nonprovisional patent application. See FAQ below.
Once the patent application is filed, then you are patent pending which will allow you to market your invention.
Step 3: Examination
The third step is examination. In about 18 to 30 months, the patent office will work through its backlog and examine your patent application. You can get your patent application examined within 4-6 months by filing an expedite request. See FAQ below for more info.
We will have to respond to the office action. The back and forth communication will cost about $2,000 if everything goes well and about $10,000 if it doesn’t go well. At the end, there is no guarantee that you will get a patent.
Before you schedule your consultation, please research my background. Click here.
After your research and if the estimates above are within your budget, Schedule your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The decision whether to get a utility or a design patent is quite simple. If you are trying to protect the function of a new product or service, then you should get a utility patent. On the other hand, if you are trying to protect the way a product looks, then you should get a design patent.
The process for getting a design patent is much simpler than that of a utility patent.
Although you can do a novelty search, many people do not do a novelty search because of the relative costs between the novelty search and the design patent application. The cost for a novelty search will be around $1500 whereas most design patent applications cost about $2,000 to $2,500.
The first step in getting a design patent is to prepare and file a design patent application. The cost will be around $2,000 to $2,500. We will either need a 3d computer model of the design or a prototype of the design.
If all goes well with examination, the you will spend about another $1,000 for the issue fee and other miscellaneous items.
Each patent application is a custom document. To prepare the patent application, we spend time exploring and developing the point of novelty. We cover the minimally viable product and variants. The information that we cover is included in the patent application to cover any potential gaps in coverage. The goal is to make it harder for others to get around your patent. All of this takes effort and time on the part of your patent attorney.
Yes but not by much.
The cost of a provisional patent application is slightly less than the cost of a nonprovisional patent application. It is about $600 less than a nonprovisional patent application because of the difference in governmental filing fees between the two types of patent applications.
The bottom line is that we have to prepare the provisional just like a nonprovisional patent application if you want to have the same patent pendency protection as a nonprovisional patent application. Otherwise, the provisional patent application would provide less coverage (i.e., patent pending type patent protection).
I like to compare a patent application to a car. You can get a car for $100 or $3,000,000. Both are cars but perform differently. The same is true with patent applications. You can find them cheaper but you may be giving up on quality.
No, the consultation is free but you need to be able to afford the prices quoted above. Plus, this is only for a consultation where you have an idea and want to get a patent for the idea.
If this is a litigation matter, then we need to clear conflicts. Also, consultations for litigation matters do have a consultation fee. They are charged at my normal billing rate. Please give me a call for my current billing rate.
For step 1: Novelty Search - You will have to make payment in full before the work is started.
For step 2: Preparation and filing of a patent application - You will have to make payment of 1/2 of the quoted price of the patent application. After I provide you with the first draft, you will have be asked to make payment of the second half. During the consultation, I will provide a firm-fixed-price for the patent application.
The bottom line is that you should have enough funds to pay for steps 1 and 2 within a 6 to 8 week time period which covers steps 1 and 2 discussed above.
A request to expedite examination of your patent application can be made at the time of filing the nonprovisional patent application. The cost will be around $1,400 for a micro-entity and $2,400 for a small entity. The Patent Office will examine your patent application in about 4 to 6 months instead of the typical 12 to 24 months turn around time. Essentially, the expedite request brings your patent application to the front of the line for examination.
Although we don't need computer-aided drawing files or a prototype to prepare the utility patent application, it is beneficial to you. Client provided drawing files will look much more professional and detailed than the ones that a patent draftsman creates for you.
For design patents, in most cases, we will need a prototype or the computer-aided drawing files.