What is the cost of filing a US national stage application?

The initial cost of filing a Us national stage application based on a PCT application can vary widely depending upon teh US law firm or attorney. Some US firms charge hourly rates while others, like ours, charge flat rates. If the specification has already been translated into English, then initial filing costs of a US national stage patent application will depend on attorney’s fees and USPTO fees. USPTO fees can be straightforward for a standard filing with no excess claims and multiple dependent claims. For a small entity applicant (e.g., individual inventors or company with fewer than 500 employees), the USPTO fees for a national stage filing will amount to $830 as of the date of this post.

Our firm charges a flat rate of $590 for filing a US national stage application, which includes filing an executed patent assignment if ready by the time of the initial filing.

A PCT application will typically have a prior art search performed by the International Search Authority (ISA), with the results published in at least one search report. The USPTO is different from most foreign patent offices in that it imposes an obligation on the applicant to disclose known prior art. To meet this obligation, our firm charges a flat rate of $200 for filing an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) to disclose the prior art cited in the published PCT application and in any other search reports.

Therefore, the initial filing cost of a US national stage application with an IDS for a small entity starts at $1,620 ($790 attorney’s fees + $830 USPTO fee for small entity).

For a large entity (e.g., company with 500 or more employees), the USPTO fees are roughly double at $1,820. So the initial filing cost of a US national stage application for a large entity starts at $2,610.

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 $1,620.

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:

How to reduce US national stage costs

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.

How can you lower costs after the initial filing of a US national phase patent application?

There are various strategies to optimize claims and lower the risk of a multiple patent rejections. We discuss some PCT and national stage strategies here.

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Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney, Cofounder at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys help innovators get IP that drives funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 | vlin@icaplaw.com

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