How much a Patent Attorney in US charges at each stage in getting patent ?

How much a Patent Attorney in US charges at each stage in getting patent ?


here are the stages and costs that a typical a Patent Attorney in US charges: 

Novelty Search:

Although an optional step, Doing novelty search for your invention can really save you thousands of dollars for involving in patent process for an invention which is not novel and already known to public.
Cost: the charges for conducting novelty search are in the range of $500 to $2000
Time required: it takes about 2 to 5 working days for a researcher to complete novelty search
Patent attorney generally prefers to have independent opinion about the novelty search so most of them outsource it to a patent researcher.

Opinion about patentability:

Upon receiving the novelty search report for your invention, next step is a critical review by patent attorney to build an opinion about patentability of your invention. Here the cost defers based on complexity of invention and number of closely associated prior arts found in the research. This opinion tells you (inventor) whether the invention is patentable or not. In other words, it answers the question regarding whether to proceed with the patent filing process or not!!!

Cost: the cost for providing patentability opinion ranges from $200 to $1000.
Time required: The time required for providing patentability opinion ranges from 3-4 hours to couple of days based on complexity of invention and prior arts cited in the novelty search report.

Patent writing or patent drafting:

This is the step where the real skills of a patent attorney come in to play. After all patent drafting is

  • the most time consuming

  • most complex

  • and skillful task that requires years of experience in technology as well as patent law

This is indeed the most important step in entire life cycle of Patent for protection of your invention.

Cost: The cost for drafting a patent application in US varies in a great deal as it is dependent on multiple factors like field of invention and complexity and the cost can range from $2000 to $12000.

Time required: it takes about 1 to 2 weeks time for patent attorney to draft an application for an invention. It certainly can take more time based on complexity, length of description and availability of patent attorney.

patent attorney charges in US

Note: Costs are applicable in stages over the period of 2-3 years and not required to pay at once.



Why Patent Attorney charges so much fees (thousands of dollars) just to write my patent application in right format?

One thing most certainly hits inventors mind at least once in the process of getting patent for his invention that is

If I am the creator of the invention, I know it inside out and I can describe it in detailed manner then why Patent Attorney charge so much fees ? just to write my patent application in right format ?

To get quick and self evident answer to your question, Just follow steps below (it will hardly take 10 minutes)

- Just start looking at patents from your domain of invention… Let’s assume your invention is about a software application that “categories the object entering in to CCTV cameras as human or animal or a vehicle and raise alarm only if human is present in the given area”

- Now go to USPTO patent search or Google patents and patents from your domain of invention (in our example here search for granted patents on live cctv video processing and categorization software applications)

- You may get thousands of results, just read or skim through most relevant ones

- Especially see the description and Claims section

- Notice the language, the complexity and sentence structures in claims

- Observe the way invention is described and tried to be protected as much comprehensively as possible

- Observe different embodiments and preferred embodiment (best mode) if specifically mentioned…

- Observe the scope of the entire invention is well covered and protection is as broad as possible with all possible variations

After spending few minutes on couple of granted patents from your domain, you may get the sense of efforts and experience required to write a good patent application; which is definitely so much different and complex than simple technical explanation of the invention without considering legal aspect. Hence the significant cost for getting help from patent attorney.

In certain cases where invention is really complex for example “a software application for an novel ecommerce method” where the market value of the invention would be significantly high then such inventions are generally treated with extreme seriousness by inventors and patent attorney charges may exceed even $20000 for filing the patent application with strongest possible protection for the market changing, breakthrough invention.

When we say strongest possible protection, it typically means

  • The invention is protected by every possible minute details

  • Number of claims are more

  • Number of embodiments are more

  • The descriptions is written with as much detailed manner as possible

  • The scope is well covered by mentioning all possible alternative embodiments of practicing invention

  • It takes extraordinary amount to time and efforts on patent attorney’s part, hence the higher costs.

The invention is described in basic simple format and then all the possible variations (also called embodiments) are explained. By doing this you can claim that these variations are also part of your invention and hence tend to provide much broader protection to the invention. Eventually it better protects your invention from other parties trying to work around the invention by bypassing the claims to avoid infringing on your patent.


If you are still confused and not able to decide on whether you would end up saving few thousands of dollars by writing and filing your patent application on your own (without help of patent attorney) you need to read section on do I really need to hire patent attorney ?

For more information on process you should consider following while selecting the right patent attorney in US to work with and regarding deciding whether to go for most expensive attorney or the most economic attorney for patenting your invention check our section on hiring right patent attorney in US.