National stage entry cost estimates
Entering the national stage of a PCT application can require a significant outlay of cash, depending upon the countries desired. Innovation Capital Law Group offers flat rate cost estimates for initial filings of PCT national stage entry in the most common PCT member countries.
Factors affecting national phase costs
PCT national phase filing costs vary widely. Factors such as translation and excess claim fees can add thousands to the initial filing cost of a particular PCT country. The European Patent Office (EPO), a regional patent office that accepts a single application to cover multiple European Union countries, charges an excess claim fee of approximately US$300 for each claim above 15. Suppose you have a PCT application with 25 claims, which would not be unusually high for a U.S. utility patent application. Entering this PCT application in the EPO would incur roughly $2,500 to $3,000 in excess claim fees (depending upon currency exchange rates).
How to save money when filing national stage applications
PCT applicants approaching the national stage deadline can save a great deal of money by planning ahead with their patent attorneys to understand the particular costs associated with filing in each desired foreign IP office. Instructing foreign associates early on to proceed with the national phase filings can also save money by avoiding late charges for required filings such as signed formal documents and translations.
PCT applicants should also explore ways to save vendor fees. The two biggest variables in the equation of foreign filing costs comprise foreign associate fees and translation fees. Therefore, PCT applicants are not limited to using the translation services of any desired foreign patent firms. Instead, applicants should explore the possibility of using a translation company especially if discounts for repetitive text are offered.
Does your US patent attorney charge flat rates or hourly rates?
Cost-sensitive PCT applicants may want to seek out US patent attorneys that charge flat rates for patent prosecution. Flat fees facilitate more precise budgets as clients plan for forthcoming national stage entries.