There are several factors to effectively calculate software patent cost in the United States. Many software engineers and inventors utilize intellectual property (IP) to protect the unique key features of their products. Ultimately, the final cost depends on filing models, software solution complexity, and the Las Vegas patent agent hired. On average, experienced software inventors, such as yourself, spend anywhere from $7,500 to $12,000 to fully protect their idea. Of course, this can vary greatly based on the form of protection and application type that you choose. To help you protect your novel idea, read on to learn how much a software patent costs to draft and file in the United States.
Patent Search Report Expenses
First and foremost, you will likely encounter search report fees when starting the software patent drafting and filing process. A patent search report is essential if you are looking to obtain IP protection on your novel software invention. This comprehensive, in-depth report will provide a detailed list of all existing, issued, and pending patents that are similar or identical to yours. Generally speaking, standard patent searches are available for around $200. For more in-depth reports, which will also examine European or International IP, you can expect to pay about $300. However, this is absolutely critical if you plan on expanding your product to global markets. Certainly, consider search report fees to better understand the total software patent cost in the US.
Provisional Patent Application (PPA) Fees
In addition, PPA fees can certainly impact your total software patent cost. Obtaining a provisional patent application is a fairly smart decision before releasing software into the public market. Essentially, a PPA provides you a twelve-month “Patent Pending” status, which temporarily protects your idea. To obtain a provisional patent, you can expect to pay around $180 in the United States. Of course, a $75 government filing fee may also be applied. With this type of application, you can enjoy less stringent requirements, secure an extra year of protection, and get a quick intellectual property solution. Indeed, PPA fees play a major part in your software patent cost.
Graphical User Interface (GUI) Design Patent Cost
Of course, you should additionally factor in the cost of protecting your graphical user interface with a design patent. GUI design patents are used to protect the look, feel, and appearance of your software solution’s interface. To meet patentability requirements, your GUI must be defined as a two-dimensional image that can be shown on monitors, computer screens, or other display panels. To file a design patent online, you can expect to pay about $850. In addition, you may also be charged a $255 filing fee, which is paid to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Surely, consider the expenses associated with protecting your GUI with a software design patent.
Utility Patent Charges
Once you have these other forms of protection in hand, it is time to secure a utility software patent on your novel invention. A utility patent protects your novel computer programs, or system performance changes from your software products. These applications provide you legally-binding patent protection for up to twenty years. Since they offer the highest levels of protection, they are also the most expensive. Typically, filing your non-provisional, utility patent application costs about $2,800. In addition, you may have to pay around $455 to the USPTO. Once obtained, this will allow you to legally prohibit others from developing, distributing, or profiting from your software solutions. To maximize your earning potential, you can even choose to license your software products out for profit.
Office Action Response Payments
At this point, it is time to think about how office action responses will influence your software patent cost. Essentially, an office action response is a written correspondence from the USPTO. Within these communication, you may be asked additional details or questions from a patent examiner. Of course, these responses must be handled incredibly carefully and strategically throughout the examination phase. Otherwise, you risk losing your application. The cost for professional office action responses will vary based on USPTO requests, invention complexity, and your patent attorney. Therefore, speak with them beforehand to fully understand the average software patent cost.
There are several factors that go into determining software patent cost in the USA. First off, you will have to pay to obtain a patent search report on your software invention. After a search, obtaining a provisional patent application is also advised. Of course, you should also factor in the cost of protecting your graphical user interface. Moreover, add in the fees of getting a utility patent application. Then, carefully examine the additional costs of office action response services. Follow the points highlighted above to learn how much a software patent costs to draft and file in the United States.