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How Much Does A Design And Utility Patent Lawyer Cost?

Posted by Barry Choobin | Jul 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Novel inventors are continuously wondering about design and utility patent lawyer costs. Drafting, filing, and registering a patent application can be a costly process. You need to pay for patent search report fees, prosecution costs, and government-imposed USPTO fees. Most of all, you'll need to hire an experienced attorney to walk you through the IP acquisition process. This way, you can secure an application with confidence, peace of mind, and ease. Plus, you'll be able to greatly improve your patentability – or the likelihood of your application getting approved. To get started now, read on to learn how much a design and utility patent lawyer costs.

The Average Patent Attorney Cost

Before you look any further, consider the average costs for patent lawyers. On average, patent attorneys work for about $400 an hour. Their hourly fee can vary greatly based on the type of law firm, complexity of your invention, as well as their years of experience. Of course, patent applications can take dozens of hours to fully complete, submit, and prosecute with the USPTO. At the end of the process, larger inventing firms with complex ideas often end up spending a minimum of $10,000. Solo-inventors, on the other hand, can likely secure an application for an average of $5,000. Certainly, familiarize yourself with the average costs of design and utility patent lawyer costs.

Evaluate Application Type

To get a better understanding of patent lawyer costs, you also need to consider your application type. Before you can file for your actual application, you have to pay for a patent search report. On average, these cost about $300 to $400. After this, you'll likely want to secure a provisional patent application (PPA). These protect your novel idea with a one year “Patent Pending” status. A PPA will traditionally cost you about $250. For long-term protection, you need to compare between design and utility patent options. Design patents are slightly more affordable, costing an average of $1,200. Non-provisional, utility applications, on the other hand, cost about $3,500 to fully prosecute.  

Factor In Location

Next, factor in the location when reviewing patent lawyer costs. A patent costs different based on where you file. The most expensive places to file are traditionally in Massachusetts, California, New York, and Connecticut. You may want to compare costs with a USPTO patent drafting agent Georgia to see if any major price gaps exist. Most of the time, inventors try to work with online intellectual property lawyers. These practitioners serve clients from all over the United States at consistent price rates. This way, you can obtain quality patent support – no matter where you're located. Surely, factor in location when calculating patent lawyer costs in your area.

Include USPTO Examination Fees

In addition to patent lawyer costs, the USPTO also imposes some examination fees on novel inventors. The United States Patent and Trademark Office charges a fee whenever their examiners work on an application. These fees are set based on the type of application – but also vary by entity legal classification. On designs, the patent office's regular fee is set at $640. Of course, it can be lowered to $160 for micro-entities, or $329 or small business entities. For utility applications, the regular fee is set at $800. If you are categorized as a small or micro-business, you can expect to pay between $200 and $400. Absolutely, include USPTO examination fees when calculating patent lawyer costs.

Calculate Post-Issuance Fees

You may also encounter patent lawyer fees even after your application is issued. After your application is approved, you'll have legally binding IP rights for up to two decades. Of course, you need to pay routine maintenance fees in order to keep your application enforced. Three maintenance fee payments are required over the patent's lifespan. If you are classified as a small entity, you expect to pay about $6,000 for these recurring fees. Indeed, calculate post-issuance fees when determining patent lawyer costs for application filing.

There are several key steps to determine design and utility patent lawyer fees. First and foremost, consider what the average cost of a patent attorney is. Sometimes, you'll get lucky and find a flat fee online patent attorney. Next, think about the location you'll be filing your application in. You should also consider the type of application you are looking to prosecute. Towards the end of your budget, include examination fees charged by the USPTO. More, calculate the required fees after the patent is issued. Follow the points highlighted above to learn how much a design and utility patent lawyer costs.

About the Author

Barry Choobin

Barry Choobin with Jonathan W. Dudas. Jonathan W. Dudas served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office until January 18, 2009. Barry Choobin is Chief Executive Officer at Patent 360 LLC. Applying his business and tech...


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