How much does a patent search cost? 5 Answers as of December 02, 2010

How much and what is involved in creating a patent for an idea?

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
A patent search will cost $500, and includes a thorough search of all prior art related to your invention, as well as a patentability opinion. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to conduct a search for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Usually a patent costs $6000 to $10,000. Hire a competent patent drafting individually (attorney or agent).
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/23/2010
Fish & Associates, PC
Fish & Associates, PC | Robert D. Fish
Quick patentability searches ($1500 - $2000) can be done in a day or two. Right to practice, non-infringement, and the very extensive searches required for accelerated examination usually take several weeks because one needs to search foreign and non-patent literature. Those can run $5000 - $10,000, and up

One can file a provisional application using no more than a paragraph or two of disclosure, but drafting a decent patent application with strong claims takes a good bit of patentability searching, and brainstorming to figure out the "white space." One of the worst things to do is to file an application that discloses little more than the preferred embodiments. That may get you a patent, but it may very well be worthless. It is possible for a non-attorney (non-patent agent) to draft and file his/her own patent application, but there against the patent issued will likely be so easy to circumvent that it will be worthless. Even a great many applications drafted by patent attorneys and agents are worthless, or nearly so.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/22/2010
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
There are two types of patent searches. There is a quick online keyword search, and there is more careful search performed by a professional searcher. You should start by performing your own keyword search using www.google.com/patents by putting in keywords in the familiar Google interface. If you do not find your idea but find some patents in the same field, you should make a note of the patent number because, if you file an application, you will have an obligation to submit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office anything that may be relevant to examination. A professional search and opinion costs about $1500. No search is perfect because it is impossible to search every publication in every language in every country of the world. So you have to make a decision based on incomplete information and instinct.

Be aware that most attorneys will only quote an estimated fee for preparing an application. You should consider the start-to-finish costs before starting.

The fee for obtaining a patent depends on the complexity and the number of rejections received by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In a negotiation session, where the applicant tries to get broad coverage for a wide range of alternatives, and the Office tries to limit the applicant to one specific design, the Office routinely rejects everything and the applicant has to file amendments and responses in multiple rejection/response cycles until claims of a reasonable scope are allowed.

The average legal fee for preparing a patent application on an invention of minimal complexity was $7879 in 2009. For relatively complex mechanical, the average fee was $9699. For electrical or software, $13,277. These are just averages. There is also a government filing fee of about $600 for a small entity.

The average fee for each amendment/argument was $2322 for minimal complexity (rare) and $3135 for a difficult rejection for a mechanical case, $5021 for an electrical case. You should plan on about three of these rejection/response cycles, though it could take more. To reply a third time, a Request for Continued Examination and another government fee of about $600 is required. In some cases, if an examiner is being particularly difficult, an appeal may be advisable, and an average cost for a written appeal brief was $5547. If a Notice of Allowance is received, there will be an issue

fee of about $1000 government fees for a small entity plus a $200 service fee for filling the forms and attending to allowance formalities.

These are averages for the U.S. My fees tend to be a little lower than the averages even though I have 20 years of patent preparation and prosecution experience.

If you would like a more precise quote, I would require a written disclosure and I can send an invention disclosure form for you to use.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Unless I hear from you, I will assume that you are not proceeding with me. No attorney-client relationship exists until a representation agreement is
signed and an advance fee is paid.

Thank you again for your inquiry and best of luck with your project.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/19/2010
Ochoa and Associates
Ochoa and Associates | Susan Ochoa Spiering
It varies greatly. Check the internet for searchers and their rates. $500-1000 plus is not unusual.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/19/2010
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