To create a budget for your patenting efforts, you need accurate projections of what you will spend and when you will spend it. But the cost of obtaining a patent varies widely depending on many factors, including your technology field. The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conducts an annual economic survey that even accounts for regional variations in legal fees.
You might be able to ask your outside patent counsel for an estimate of your immediate upcoming costs. But this estimate can usually only cover the work your lawyers know about, namely the applications you have assigned and the office actions you have received. Your patent counsel cannot estimate fees for work you have not yet assigned.
Instead, you need an in-house tool that generates a cost estimate based on the ideas your innovators are working on. By getting cost information earlier in the process, you can choose which ideas justify their patenting costs and schedule your patent work to take control of your patent budget.
Budgeting Difficulties Come From the Variety and Unpredictability of Costs You Will Incur
Patent budgeting is difficult for two main reasons. First, you will incur a variety of costs to get your patent. As a general rule of thumb, one-third of your costs come from government fees, one-third from legal fees to draft the patent application and one-third from prosecuting the patent application.
But this rule does not hold true for every technology field. Simple mechanical inventions might incur significantly lower drafting fees but significantly higher prosecution expenses because the universe of mechanical prior art references is broader. Electronic and software inventions might have higher drafting fees due to the detail needed to explain the invention but lower prosecution expenses because of a higher likelihood of issuance and fewer rounds of office actions.
Some common expenses you will need to estimate to accurately budget for a patent include:
- Attorney’s drafting fees, including fees for a patent illustrator to create patent drawings
- Government filing fees
- Attorney fees to prepare and file the information disclosure statements and any missing parts
- Legal fees for responding to any restriction requirements and office action rejections
- Patent Office issuance fees
- Periodic maintenance fees after issuance
Some of the variables that may affect your prosecution costs include the art unit where your application was assigned, the patent examiner you received, and the number of office actions sent. It will also depend on how you choose to respond to those office actions. For example, interviewing a case might resolve your case quickly, but the interview will often require more preparation than a written response. A written response or RCE might cost less, but also have a lower likelihood of allowance.
If you file any international or foreign applications, you will incur additional fees. These fees will vary widely by country depending on local counsel fees, translation fees, and filing fees.
Get Exactly the Cost Information You Need From the Free Patent Cost Estimator
Triangle IP’s TIP Tool provides exactly the information you usually cannot get from your outside counsel, foreign agents, and the Patent Office. With the touch of a button, you receive a breakdown of the short-term and long-term costs you will incur for a filing.
The free patent cost estimator uses a description of the invention to predict the costs. As a result, you can get a cost estimate without filing an application or even talking to your outside patent counsel. All you need is a brief summary of the idea from your inventors.
When you enter your idea summary into the TIP Tool, the patent end-to-end cost estimate will appear in the “predicted statistics” field. This estimate breaks down the predicted costs across the entire lifetime of a patent, from preparation and filing to maintenance. This estimate even predicts the number of office actions based on the technological field and the prosecution fees you will incur.
The estimate also breaks down those costs so you can see how much you will incur at each stage and when you might incur those costs. You can use this cost data to not only get an overall cost estimate but also a breakdown of the timing of the costs.
For example, the free patent cost estimator can tell you your total estimated costs, your next cost to be incurred, and the costs remaining for your patent/patent application.
The free patent cost estimator develops its estimates using the legal fees you enter in the administrative settings. You can adjust the amounts you want the TIP Tool to use for cost estimates by accessing the cost details screen in the Admin Panel.
Try Our Free Patent Cost Estimator
Estimating your patent costs will give you the power to prioritize your patent filings, control your costs, and plan your patent portfolio. Try out the TIP Tool’s free patent cost estimator by registering on the app.
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