How much does a nonprovisional utility patent application cost?
In answering the question of “How much does a utility patent cost?” the largest portion of the cost of filing a nonprovisional utility patent application will be the legal fees for drafting the application. The conventional approach has been to bill hourly attorney’s fees for drafting a utility application. While this makes sense for particular cases and clients, the old school approach doesn’t always work for startups who prefer flat fee estimates for patent drafting services.
Keep in mind that the initial filing cost must also factor in USPTO and illustrator fees if any drawings are involved. So, the total amount of drafting and filing a utility nonprovisional patent application must include the following cost variables:
- legal fees; and
- costs, including USPTO filing fees and any illustrator fees.
Our firm charges flat rates for drafting nonprovisional patent applications which start at $8,500. Our fixed fee for drafting a utility application is based on the complexity of the invention as well as the number of variations or embodiments. Expect additional costs to start at $1,100 for a small entity (e.g., individuals or company with fewer than 500 employees), including the USPTO filing fees starting at $830 and illustrator fees starting at $250.
So, the low end of the range will generally start at approximately $9,600. Feel free to contact us to obtain a free flat fee estimate for your nonprovisional application.
What does the initial patent filing cost include?
The initial filing cost includes drafting the nonprovisional application, and revising the draft based on input from the client or inventors. Our initial filing estimates will typically include the USPTO filing fees and illustrator fees. If our clients wish to add new features which were not initially disclosed, we can provide flat rate estimates for the additional scope of work.
What is not included in the initial patent filing cost?
Our initial filing cost does not include a patentability search which costs $1,500 for each invention.
The initial filing cost also excludes responses to rejections, which is to be expected in the ongoing prosecution of the utility application. The vast majority of utility patent applications will encounter at least one rejection, called an Office Action, that will require a thorough response. Our Office Action response fees will typically range from $950 to $2,800, not including any USPTO fees. It is not uncommon to receive two to four Office Actions in a utility application before deciding whether to continue, abandon or appeal. For total costs from start to finish, expect to spend about $15,000 to $45,000 to obtain a utility patent.
US patent attorney’s fees for drafting a utility nonprovisional application: cost ranges
At my firm, we provide flat rate estimates for drafting a utility nonprovisional application after we’ve had an opportunity to understand the complexity of the invention and other factors affecting the scope of the initial filing work (e.g., number of examples called “embodiments”).
For a relatively simple invention such as a product with mostly mechanical features, our attorney’s fees start at $8,500. USPTO filings fees (assuming small entity with fewer than 500 employees) and illustrator fees will add at least $1,100 in costs. So, expect the initial filing of a utility nonprovisional patent application to start at $9,600. In some cases, we might be able to achieve an even lower initial filing flat rate due to the simplicity of the invention.
For an invention with moderate to high complexity, attorney’s fees for the initial drafting of the application can range from $10,000 to $15,000. Our initial filing fees for more complex inventions will typically start at $16,000.
Initial filing estimates are provided on a case-by-case basis. As a helpful budgeting guide, see our patent fee schedule below.
ICLG Patent Flat Fee Schedule – 2021
|US Utility Patent||Our Fee||Costs: USPTO (small entity) & Vendor Fees||Total|
|Initial Filing of Nonprovisional Application|
|Drafting nonprovisional (rates vary by level of complexity: low, medium, high)||Starts at $8,500||USPTO: $830+ Drawings: $250+||starts at $9,600|
|Filing US National Stage Application (based on PCT) |
Initial Filing Service includes:
· Making Priority Claim
· Preparing formal documents
· Non‑substantive formality review
· Non-substantive edits
· Filing assignment (if signed by initial filing)
|Filing US nonprovisional application (already drafted by outside counsel)||$590||USPTO: $830+||$1,420+|
|Office Action Responses|
|Drafting Office Action (OA) responses (rates vary by level of complexity) |
Conducting examiner interviews (phone/video)
|$950+ (varies) |
|Ongoing Patent Prosecution|
|Forwarding OA without review |
Filing signed Patent Assignment
Filing PPH Request
Filing OA response drafted by outside counsel (formality review only)
Paying issue fee, sending original Patent Certificate, and docketing maintenance (renewal) deadlines
$500 + (varies)
(flat rates avail.)
|Paying 1st maint fee (3½ yrs) |
Paying 2nd maint fee (7½ yrs)
Paying 3rd maint fee (11½ yrs)
|USPTO: $1,000 |
|$1,400 $2,280 $4,250|
*Small Entity status generally refers to individual applicants, companies with less than 500 employees, and universities or other institutions of higher education. USPTO fees for large entities are double.