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Patents Background

Patents grant you the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, and importing the patented invention.

To obtain a patent an invention must be shown to be:

  • novel, e.g. no one else has ever done the same thing in the same way; and
  • non-obvious, e.g. a person of skill in the art would not find it obvious to combine known teachings to come up with the invention

Patent Application Process

  • Inventor discloses and describes the invention to patent attorney (~1 hour)
  • Attorney conducts a patent search (optional, approx. 3 weeks)
  • Attorney prepares and files a patent application (approx. 2-3 months)
  • US Patent Office Examiner reviews the application and issues an allowance or an Office Action (approx. 12-24 months)
  • Attorney prepares a response including amendments and/or arguments to overcome rejections stated in the Office Action (maximum 6 months)
  • US Patent Office Examiner reviews the response and issues an allowance or a second Office Action (approx. 3-6 months), this back and forth may continue several times depending on the nature of the rejections, the clients goals, etc.
  • An allowed application issues as a US Patent; or
  • A rejected application is abandoned


  • Costs to prepare and file a non-provisional (regular or full) patent application are dependent on the complexity of the invention but generally range between about $4000 and about $12,000
  • After filing, additional costs of $1500 up to $10,000+ can be expected to prosecute the application through to an issued patent. 
  • Maintenance fees are due at 4, 8, and 12 years after issuance and total $6000+ for a small entity

    *the potential costs indicated are for informational purposes only and are not intended as an estimate or quote for any particular matter. Costs and fees are subject to change.