Patent questions?

Why is it so expensive to patent an idea? Doesn't that thwart the innovative incentive?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You do not patent "ideas," you patent inventions. Having said that, there are a number of reasons that filing a patent is so expensive.

    First, the filing fees with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are significant, $515 for a small entity, which would include a single inventor. If the patent ever issues, the issue fee is $720. Then you have to pay maintenance fees over the life of an issued patent that amount to more than $2,500. If you are not a small entity, then double those fees. Note that the USPTO increases these fees based on inflation, so those fees will be different next year.

    Next, someone has to do a search to determine whether your invention is potentially patentable. Searches vary in cost depending on the complexity of your invention. A typical range would be $300 to more than $1000. You might wonder whether you should pay for a search. That depends on how much faith you have in your invention. If a $500 search saves you the expense of preparing an application and filing it, then it might be cheap insurance.

    The patent itself consists of a number of parts that has to be in a certain format. Most patents have drawings, an extremely detailed description of the drawings, and claims. Preparation of drawings varies in cost depending on who does them. Note that drawings also have their own requirements from the USPTO. I would estimate the cost of drawings to be anywhere from $50 each to $200 or more each depending on the complexity of the drawings.

    Now comes the expensive part, drafting the application and writing claims. Patent agents and patent attorneys are registered before the USPTO to be able to represent inventors. Consider the requirements to become either. You need a 4-year technical degree, then you either need to become an attorney or you need to study to pass the patent registration exam. You also need excellent writing skills. The number of people who meet all these requirements is quite small and the demand for the best of these people by law firms and corporations is quite high. The result is that patent agents can easily charge $100 to $150 per hour to write a patent application, and attorneys, particularly at a larger law firm, can charge anywhere from $150 to $800 per hour.

    For more information about patents, patent agents and patent attorneys, see

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is expensive because the process is lengthy and complicated. generally it requires a patent lawyer who does a search to determine if a similar patent already exists. Then the application has to be prepared, and depending on the complexity of the invention, it may required elaborate drawings and descriptions.

    Big corporations can manage the financial aspects. Small individual inventors may find it onerous, but if they have a really good invention, someone is bound to come up who can handle it and make it a success.

  • Patent
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    Is $65 expensive?

    If you have a VIABLE invention then it is a good idea to protect it.

    Do you know about the Provisional Application for Patent? It only costs $65 and was designed by Congress to give individual inventors a chance at bringing their inventive ideas to market easily. It is SUPER EASY to do..

    If a provisional application for patent looks like the right thing for you to do then take a look at a website that shows EXACTLY how to file one using a video format. Either Google or YouTube Provisional Patent Video or PM me and I will give you links to consider. I notice you do not have your email turned on in Yahoo or I would have sent it to you..

    I do not want to put links in here because lawyers delete my posts when I do.. go figure! They do not want you to know how easy this is! You can email me at too if you want as well!

    There are LOTS of ways to move forward with your invention. I would caution you away from paying ANYONE ANYTHING until you COMPLETELY understand what and when they will give you what you want.

    DO NOT pay anyone $5,000 to start your invention... Not even invention companies until you COMPLETELY understand exactly what they will do for you. I have talked to way too many folks who have spent from $1800 to $5000 to get nothing.

    Not to worry.. there are ways to get what you want ant YOU can do it yourself, for the most part, and it is fairly easy to do everything. Just know the USPTO is a branch of the Federal Government and the Federal government wants YOU to be a millionaire so you can pay taxes. Therefore, the Federal Government, via the USPTO, makes it EASY to file a Provisional Application for Patent. Extremely easy.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i am sure it does.. beaurocracy is always expensive.. and i am wondering if that very expense is a measure to prevent small people from inventing.. corporate american runs and influences everything in this world

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