What is the cost of filing a US national stage application?
A PCT application must be filed as a national stage application in the US in order to obtain a US patent. The initial filing cost of a US national stage application depends on the attorney’s fee and USPTO fees. USPTO fees are straightforward if there are no excess claims and no multiple dependent claims. For a small entity applicant (e.g., company with fewer than 500 employees), the USPTO fees for a national stage filing will amount to $790. Our firm charges a flat rate of $585 for filing a US national stage application, which includes filing an executed patent assignment if ready by the time of the initial filing.
Unlike most foreign patent offices, the USPTO imposes an obligation on the applicant to disclose known prior art. Prior art is routinely cited in a published PCT application. The examiner from the designed International Search Authority (ISA) will search prior art and evaluate the allowability of the PCT claims. This initial claim review by the ISA examiner will result in an International Search Report (ISR). Our firm charges a flat rate of $200 for filing an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) to disclose known prior art.
Therefore, the initial filing cost of a US national stage application with an IDS for a small entity starts at $1,575 ($585 + $200 + $790 USPTO fee for small entity).
For a large entity (e.g., company with 500 or more employees), the USPTO fees are roughly double at $1,720. So the initial filing cost of a US national stage application for a large entity starts at $2,505.
Initial filing estimate for individual inventors and small entity companies
If the applicant is a company, an assignment to transfer ownership of the patent rights should be filed. While the patent assignment is not mandatory at the initial filing, we prefer to submit an executed assignment with the initial filing if available. Filing the assignment upfront avoids the need for docketing and subsequent submission. Our firm does not charge any additional fees for filing an executed assignment with the initial filing.
Accordingly, our initial filing cost for a small entity company is no different than that for individual inventors, i.e., starting at $1,575.
What can increase USPTO fees for a US national stage application?
Several circumstances may lead to additional USPTO expenses in a national stage application. Some common reasons for higher USPTO fees include:
- excess claims (i.e., more than 3 independent claims and/or more than 20 total claims)
- multiple dependent claims
- late inventor declaration
How to reduce costs for entering US national stage
If the PCT application has multiple dependent claims, we generally recommend filing a Preliminary Amendment to remove the multiple dependencies. Eliminating the presence of multiple dependent claims will avoid a costly $410 USPTO multiple dependent claim fee (small entity). Any excess claims fees might also be reduced due to a lower claim count.
Our flat rate service fees are flexible. We do not want price to be a barrier to working with us, so please inquire about a discount if you or your clients are cost-sensitive.