knowledge base.

How much does a (nonprovisional) patent cost?

Please keep in mind that intellectual property attorneys have their own fee on top of whatever you might pay to the government for preparing and filing a patent application. Attorney fees are separate from what is discussed here.

A patent’s official (government) cost is determined by the type of entity an applicant files as. There are 3 types of entities: Large, small, and micro. Large entities pay the “full” government fee amounts, while small entities fees are reduced by 60% and micro entities are reduced by 80%.

How do you know if you qualify as a large, small, or micro entity?

- Large entities are typically companies with more than 500 employees.
- Small entities are typically individual inventors, universities, or small companies with fewer than 500 employees.
- To qualify as a micro entity, you must satisfy the small entity requirements, as well as have all the inventors named on less than 4 other inventions.  Each individual inventor must make less than 3 times the median household income in the previous calendar year (currently $212,352 in 2023, though this changes every year).

Government Filing Fees:

There are 3 official fees that are due upon filing a patent application: the filing fee, the search fee, and the examination fee.

Altogether, to file an application, each entity would pay:

- Large: $1,820
- Small: $728
- Micro: $364

There is also an option to “fast track” applications with an additional fee.  This is called a “Track One” nonprovisional patent application.  This means a patent application will start the “examination process” much sooner than it normally would.  By filing this type of paperwork, his will cut the expected examination time from 3-4 years to 12 months.  The current fee (as of 2023) for this type of request is:

- Large: $4,340
- Small: $1,736
- Micro: $868

This is an additional fee on top of the regular government filing fees.

There are additional fees that may come up during examination process as well.  To learn more about what happens during the utility patent examination process, we have more information here!

Potential Fees During Examination:

What government fees might come up during the patent examination process?
During the examination, there is potential for further fees to arise if the application gets a “final” rejection (referred to as an “office action”).
A “final” rejection doesn’t have to be the end of the examination, and the applicant has the opportunity to file a “Request for Continued Examination” (“RCE”).

The government fees for a Request for Continued Examination currently cost:

1st request $1,360
2nd and subsequent request(s) $2,000

1st request $544
2nd and subsequent request(s) $800

1st request $272
2nd and subsequent request(s) $400

There are other late fees to look out for that vary in price depending on how late a response or document is and which entity the applicant is.

Government Fees After Examination/Maintenance Fees:

What government fees do you pay after a patent is granted?
After going through the examination journey, celebrations are in order!
After doing a little jig or high fiving your team, you might want to know what comes next.
After being granted a patent, you need to first pay an Issue Fee followed by Maintenance Fees in the years to come to keep the patent in active status.

The first fee a utility patent application receives after patent examination will be an Issue Fee.

This is paid after receiving a “Notice of Allowance” and will officially change the patent application so it becomes an “issued” (or “granted”) patent once paid.

- Large: $1,200
- Small: $480
- Micro: $240

After the patent has issued, the USPTO requires inventors to pay maintenance fees after 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years.

The current government fees for maintenance are:

- 3.5 Year $2,000
- 7.5 Year $3,760
- 11.5 Year $7,700

- 3.5 Year $800
- 7.5 Year $1,504
- 11.5 Year $3,080

- 3.5 Year $400
- 7.5 Year $752
- 11.5 Year $1,540

These fees are always in fluctuation.  To go straight to the source and check whether any of these amounts have changed, check out the US Patent and Trademark Office website out here!

Author: Jacob Salit.

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