What Does a Typical Patent Cost?

Today Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog reported that Alan Kasper, First Vice-President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), described typical patent prosecution costs in a statement that he made in front of Congress earlier this week.  Mr. Kasper’s information, which is based on a 2007 AIPLA survey, includes average costs for preparing a new application and responding to a USPTO office action.  Mr. Kasper explains that the costs vary by technology and complexity, and his data can serve as a useful guideline for new patent applicants. 

According to Mr. Kasper’s statement, typical costs include:

Filing a new application: 

  • Complex biotechnology or chemical cases: $15,398
  • Complex electrical or computer cases:  $13,684
  • Complex mechanical cases:  $11,482
  • Cases of minimal complexity and with 10 pages and 10 claims:   $8,548

Preparing an amendment in response to an Office Action:

  • Complex biotechnology or chemical cases:  $4,448
  • Complex electrical or computer cases:  $3,910
  • Complex mechanical cases:  $3,506
  • Cases of minimal complexity:  $2,244

These costs are fair estimates, although it seems that fewer cases can be considered of “minimal complexity” in the post-KSR era.  In addition, patent applicants should be aware that these costs are for U.S. filings only — additional fees will be required to also file an application in other countries.

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