Los Angeles Patent Attorney
Inventors frequently want to know the scope of protection that they can obtain for their invention. Discuss your patent ideas and needs with an experienced patent lawyer in Los Angeles by contacting Trojan Law Offices through this Web site or by calling the office at 310.777.8399.
The Scope of Patent Protection
The protections given by a particular patent are based on the patent claim.
Each patent claim is a one sentence description of the patent (usually a very long sentence) that defines the rights of the inventor. Each claim can be thought of as a word fence that surrounds and protects the invention.
Some word fences are so large that they are the size of a 100,000 acre ranch. Other word fences are very small. But sometimes the smallest word fences are extremely valuable—just as a small strip of land on the beach may be more valuable than a large tract of land in the desert.
The size of your word fence is determined by the inventions that came before your innovation. You cannot build your fence on someone else’s property, but we can try to extend your word fence right up to your closest neighbor’s fence.
A well-drafted patent claim comes as close as possible to the earlier inventions without including them within its scope.
Utility Patent Applications: Full Disclosure of Typical Costs
The cost of preparing a patent application from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) usually ranges from $5,500 to $10,000, including a government filing fee of about $650. On rare occasions, the invention may be so simple as to cost less than $5,500. Regardless of the complexity of your invention, we prepare each application with the same careful scrutiny.
Procedures and Timing of Patent Applications
Within 14 to 18 months of the filing date, we will receive an office action from the patent examiner. The patent examiner will tell us if the application has been approved or rejected, or if changes are required. Usually some changes are required by the examiner, costing an additional $400 to $2,500.
Our Los Angeles Patent Attorneys may have to submit written arguments to the examiner if the patent application has been refused. It is difficult to say how much it will cost to respond until we see the patent examiner’s arguments.
If the patent is allowed, the government charges an issue and publication fee which is $1,260. Our fee with respect to the issue and publication fee and for sending future notifications of maintenance is $400 for a total of $1,660, which is paid after we receive the Notice of Allowance from the Patent Office.
Design Patent Fees
An example: the total filing fees for a design patent application for a single watch design would amount to about $1,800. This includes the drafting expenses, attorney fees, and Patent Office filing fees. From the date the client provides the watch design and payment, it will take about three weeks to file the application. The Patent Office will charge an issue fee of $560 if it approves the application. Our service charge with respect to the issue fee is $200 for a total of $760, which is paid after we receive the Notice of Allowance from the Patent Office.
Utility and Design Patent Applications Filed and Issued in the United States (1995-2015)
Source: USPTO Annual Reports
Common Questions about Patent Applications
1. What is the average cost for a completed patent application from start to finish? What’s the low and high end? And what does this price include?
The entire process from start to finish over about a two-year period costs $8,000 to $10,000. This price includes preparation of the application for the USPTO, drawings, filing fees, responses to an office action, and the issue fee. If the office action is more complex than expected, then the cost might be more, but we would advise you before proceeding further. If there is no office action, meaning that you receive a notice of allowance after the patent examiner reviews the prior art, then the total fees might be as low as $7,000.
2. What process do we follow to get the patent?
Before we file a patent application, we determine if your invention is patentable. A patent search reveals whether something similar to your invention has already been patented. The charge for a typical patent search is $1,000 to $2,000.
Based upon the patent search, we will advise you whether success is likely and whether your patent would be strong or weak. If we see problems, we can suggest ways to change your invention to design around the prior patents.
Based upon what we tell you, you decide if you want to file for a patent. You are never required to do a patent search. But we do recommend a search because we can write a better patent application with that information in hand.
Our Los Angeles IP attorneys take pride in providing quality patent application services at reasonable rates. To discuss your domestic or international intellectual property needs and learn how we can help you protect your ideas and inventions, contact Trojan Law Offices to schedule a consultation.