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How much does it cost to patent an idea

The total costs involved in acquiring a patent depend on the invention, the type of patent applied for, and the size of the applicant. One major component is the time and expertise required to prepare the application and to respond to rejections by the PTO. The type of patent and the size of the applicant affect the PTO fees. For example, small entities get a 50% discount on PTO fees, and a microentity applicant get an even bigger discount. Bio-tech patents are among the most expensive to prepare and prosecute, while mechanical patents are among the less costly to procure. Software patents are somewhere in between. In general, industry experts estimate that obtaining a patent on a “simple” invention (like a paper clip or a coat hanger) can be between $5,000 to $7,000. A patent on a complicated software may cost $15,000 or more. Each patent has maintenance costs payable over time so there are small on-going costs post-grant.