How much does a US design patent application cost?

What is the initial filing cost of a US design patent application?

Excluding USPTO fees, our initial filing cost of a US design patent application starts at $995. This includes our $770 flat rate and $225 illustrator fee, but the not the USPTO fee. Our turnaround time is only one week with no rush fees. Again, we do not charge rush fees for filing a design patent application. Here’s a breakdown of the cost to file a design patent application:

  • $770 is our firm’s flat rate attorney fee to prepare and file a US design patent application. Our flat fee includes a priority claim to a foreign priority application, if necessary;
  • $250 to $400 for a set of drawings by an experienced patent illustrator to draw design patent figures that conform to strict USPTO design drawing rules; and
  • $204 for a micro entity, $408 for a small entity or $1,020 for a large entity are the USPTO fees.

For a small entity, the initial filing of a US design patent application may range from roughly $1,450 to $1,700, including USPTO fees.

For a micro entity, the initial filing cost will be approximately $1,250, including USPTO fees.

How much more will Rocket Docket cost?

To expedite a design patent application, you can file a Rocket Docket request which requires a patent search before filing. The cost of preparing a request for expedited examination, including the patent search, will be an additional $2,000 to $3,000 for a small entity.

Are design patents easier, faster and cheaper to obtain?

Design patents are faster and cheaper to procure than utility patents. It helps that the design patent allowance rate is much higher than that of utility patent applications. More specifically, most US design patent applications are allowed without prior art rejections. The USPTO reported an allowance rate of nearly 90% for design patent applications in fiscal years 2005 to 2009.

Lower costs and higher approval rates of design patent applications make them worthy of consideration. Businesses should seriously consider design patents as an important part of an overall IP strategy.

In fact, the high approval rate makes you wonder why more businesses do not file design patent applications. My guess is that it has to do with the limited protection provided by design patents. Nonetheless, design patents can constitute a valuable part of a well rounded IP portfolio.

What are possible additional design patent costs?

A few tasks may add to the cost of design patent application after the initial filing. For example, a patent assignment should be signed and recorded with the USPTO if ownership will be transferred from the inventor(s) to a company.

If the applicant is aware of any relevant prior art, then an IDS should be filed to disclose the known prior art to the USPTO. Prior art references may originate from a patentability search, related design patent application or related foreign application.

What is a design patent Office Action?

Office Actions in US design applications are less common. Office Actions can be either non-substantive or substantive. Non-substantive Office Actions do not contain rejections based on the prior art. Instead, they may contain objections to the drawings, for example. Most design Office Actions are non-substantive. Therefore, responses to non-substantive Office Actions are generally easier to prepare and less expensive. Our firm charges $500 to respond to a design non-substantive Office Action.

Other typical Office Actions in design applications may include a Restriction Requirement if the initial disclosure contained multiple embodiments. For example, if the originally filed application showed two versions of a product, the patent examiner may require you to pick only one version to prosecute in the pending application. In this situation, the applicant may file a continuation application to pursue the non-elected version/embodiment. Such a child application will maintain the priority date of the pending parent application.

In rare cases, a US design application may receive a substantive Office Action rejecting the claimed design on the basis of prior art. Responses to substantive Office Actions require substantially more effort and cost.

How much is the design issue fee?

If your design patent application is approved, a Notice of Allowance will be issued giving you a 3-month deadline for paying the issue fee.  Our firm charges a total cost of $960 to pay the issue fee for a small entity, including our flat rate of $590 and USPTO issue fee of $370.

How much is the total cost to obtain a design patent?

Most design patent applications will be allowed. The high design patent approval rate enables more accurate estimates of entire filing costs from start to finish. Assuming no Office Actions, the total cost to obtain a design patent from start to finish will be approximately:

  • $2,025 to 2,300 for a micro entity;
  • $2,500 to $2,800 for a small entity; and
  • $3,400 to $3,700 for a large entity.

Total cost variances will depend largely upon illustrator fees and the need to file an IDS.

A rejection can lead to additional cost ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 to respond to each Office Action.

What is our design patent drawing guarantee?

Our firm guarantees the quality of our selected illustrators. If our clients receive objections to the quality of our initial drawings, we will file a response with corrected drawings free of charge.

This may be especially helpful if the client is unsure about using their own drawings. The guarantee would also benefit drawings originating from a foreign priority application (e.g., China) which might not conform to US standards. Our guarantee does not apply to any corrections caused issues outside our control (e.g., inconsistent views).

Need to file a design patent application?

Contact US patent attorney Vic Lin by email or call (949) 223-9623 to get a fixed price quote to file your design patent application.

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