I know the cost will probably vary greatly but what is the "average" percentage of each cost of the patent. If cost percentages varies between utility and design patents I would like to know primarily for a Utility patent as that is what I may pursue.

e.g. 34% cost goes towards engineerings and drafting

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    Are you asking about filing fees or are you including legal costs, etc? Unfortunately the answer is going to be somewhere between about $200 and $100,000 or higher unless you can get very specific. As your question is written, I'm afraid folks can only guess what information will help you specifically. Jul 14, 2017 at 18:08
  • I wasn't looking for a specific answer necessarily more or less an answer of the bulk of the cost of a patent from experience or research of such.
    – Shub
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:08
  • But at the very least, you are not describing what you mean by "cost". I don't think the folks here can know what information you are looking for, or what problem you are trying to solve. Jul 14, 2017 at 19:28
  • Duke answered the question to the extent I wanted so that is fine. I meant as in when producing a patent what goes into it that requires money? E.g. Attorney Fees, Patent Drafting and Design, Patent Application Fees...etc. Sorry for the vague wording
    – Shub
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:55
  • In general, the images are fairly low cost (typically in the hundreds of dollars, maybe breaking into low 4 figures) compared to the greater filing fees and billable hours. Most attorneys have someone they use regularly, so it would be rolled into their charges.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are based in the US, you'll find the USPTO fee schedules to be useful. (The link also includes PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) fees for international filing.)

The biggest cost will be your attorney's time. If you go with a large, established firm, they are going to bill at a rate of ~$500/hr., minimum. A way to reduce this cost is to find a solo practitioner who doesn't have the overhead of a large firm and can charge lower rates. (Often solo practitioners will offer a fixed price. I've had quotes ranging from $3500 to $12,000 for the non-provisional, images included.)

Where attorney costs can start to spiral is in the review process. Each time you have to engage with the patent board, you are going to rack up billable hours with your attorney. (~$5000 ballpark). You probably want to budget for ~6 responses, although it could be much fewer.

This factor, along with international filing (which can get expensive quickly, particularly in regions that require translation into the local language) is why Robert Cartiano quotes a range up to $100,000.

Gene Quinn has a good article on the process: An Overview of the U.S. Patent Process from 2014, which is after the US law changed from first-to-invent to first-to-file.

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    I think only pharmaceutical patents have a chance of getting anywhere near 100k. They are normally drafted by at least two attorneys because their value is extremely high in many cases.
    – user18033
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:22
  • @DonQuiKong and you tend to see a lot of attorneys with PhDs in the relevant fields for biotech. I suspect algorithmic/software patents could get as expensive due to the current uncertainty regarding abstractness, and international is always going to create an upward cost spiral. But overall, I think you make a fair assessment.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:27
  • A response should take 3-4 hrs, not much more.
    – user18033
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:38
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    I think your answer covers it, I just wanted to note that most cases should be around 5-7k plus responses.
    – user18033
    Jul 14, 2017 at 21:00
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    You might want to point out the use of patent agents which can be as good and likely less expensive than patent lawyers. Also doing a lot of ground work can make the process more efficient reducing fees.
    – Eric S
    Jul 14, 2017 at 23:16

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