What factors affect the cost to file a PCT patent application?
The cost of a PCT patent application will typically consist of attorney’s fees and government fees. PCT patent attorney’s fees which will vary widely between firms and the amount of work involved (e.g., whether the utility patent application needs to be drafted). PCT government fees which will also vary depending upon which governmental patent office you choose. So the cost to file a PCT application will be the sum of attorney’s fees and governmental fees. Let’s look at each component of the PCT patent filing cost and explore ways to save money.
How much are the PCT government fees?
An International Search Authority (ISA) must be chosen to search the prior art relevant to the claims. If the applicant is a small entity (e.g., individual(s) or small business with fewer than 500 employees), the USPTO is one of the least expensive search options. Only the Korean and Russian IP offices offer lower search fees than the USPTO. In addition to the search fee, there will be a basic government fee for filing the PCT application itself. Expect excess pages fees in the ballpark of $16 per page in excess of 30.
So for a small entity applicant choosing the USPTO as an ISA, the government fees for a PCT application will start at approximately $2,500. Suppose the total number of pages of your PCT filing totaled 55 pages, including the PCT Demand. In this case, expect to an additional excess pages fee of $400 ($16×25). So a fair estimate of government fees for a PCT application designating the USPTO as the search authority would be roughly $2,450 to $3,200.
How much are PCT patent attorney’s fees?
Our firm charges a flat rate of $1,250 to file a PCT application where the nonprovisional application has already been drafted, not including government fees. Discounts may be available on a case-by-case basis.
In most cases, an applicant thinking of filing a PCT application has already filed a nonprovisional patent application. So our flat fee does not include drafting the nonprovisional utility application. If the PCT application will be the very first filing and there is no priority claim to an earlier-filed application, we can provide cost estimates for drafting a utility nonprovisional patent application.
Keep in mind that filing a PCT is not the end of the journey. You will have national phase filings which will incur significant additional costs depending upon the selected countries.
What is the total cost to file a PCT patent application?
For a small entity applicant choosing the US as the International Search Authority, the initial filing cost of a PCT application will range from $3,700 to $4,500. The lower cost may be reached by minimizing or avoiding excess pages. Choosing the Korean IP Office (KIPO) as the ISA can save a few hundred dollars while choosing Russia (Rospatent) will save roughly $850 compared to the US. If the applicant is a large entity, the savings in choosing these two foreign International Search Authorities are even greater.