The origin of patent rights in the United States of America are found in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, which states that “The Congress shall have power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

To that end, Congress has exclusively empowered the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) with the duty to examine and grant patents. Briefly, a patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Unites States to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for full disclosure of the invention for publication upon grant.

There are three types of patents available at the USPTO: Utility, Design, and Plant. A utility patent may be granted to a person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. A Design patent may be granted to a person who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A Plant patent may be granted to a person who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Utility patents issue from nonprovisional and national phase of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. Provisional patent applications are a third form of utility patent application that do not issue into patents but serve instead to establish a date of filing. A nonprovisional utility patent application or an international patent application must be filed under the PCT within one year or twelve months from the filing date of the provisional patent application.

On average our charges to prepare and file patent applications are as follows. Provisional patent applications cost on average from $1000.00 up depending on the matter involved. Nonprovisional patent applications cost from about $3000.00 to about $5500, also depending on the matter involved. A PCT application will cost an additional $1500 above the nonprovisional price for the same application. Design and Plant patent applications costs $1500 each. These estimates do not include drawings ($75/page), or USPTO filing fees, which are calculated separately from the costs of preparing and filing the patent application. Please be warned that the filing fees for PCT patent applications are several thousand dollars, while the US filing fee for a nonprovisional patent application is about $500.

It is also advisable to have a prior art search and patentability report prepared before the expensive of a patent application. Searches and search reports cost from $300 to $1000 depending on the scope of the search and subject matter involved. Most knock out searches are $300 each.

For further information, please call our office.