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What are the fees the USPTO charges?

Are the fees discounted for a small business and/or individual inventor?


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There are two components that determine the cost of applying for a patent: The filing fees to the governmental patent institution, here it is typically the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the fees to the professionals preparing and/or assisting with the patent prosecution, that is patent practitioners (lawyers or agents), searchers and drafters.

The practitioner fees vary widely; lawyers mostly charge in the range of $300 to $700 per hour and agents between $120 to $250 per hour.  The fees of a moderatly complex patent application by a law firm will be in the range of $8,000 to $13,000.  The expense grows rapidly if appeals become necessary.  The same application prosecuted by an agent will be in the range of $4,000 to $7,000.

These expenses can be lowered by inventors doing some of the work themselves, especially searches and drawings.  Another approach I like to suggest is to combine the do-it-yourself approach with letting an agent prepare a complete application and letting a patent law firm with a strong track record in the field to which the invention belongs to review, edit and prosecute the application.

The USPTO fees are listed on the USPTO website at  The fees are listed in three columns: standard fee, fee for a small (business) entity and the micro entity fee.  The micro entity fee will apply to most individual non-business inventors.

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