The number of patent applications in the UK is growing by the year, with over 19,000 applications filed from 2021-2022. This demonstrates that more and more inventors realise the importance of protecting their intellectual property.
However, many people hesitate to pursue a patent due to cost concerns. Design 2 Market discusses how much it costs to patent an idea in the UK and the factors affecting the final price.
The Basics of Patent Costs
The cost of patenting an idea can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the invention and the type of application (online or in-person).
Here’s a breakdown of typical costs you can expect when seeking a patent:
1. Patent Search
Before filing a patent application, it’s important to conduct a thorough search to ensure your idea is original and not already protected by an existing patent. A professional patent search can range from £500 to £30,000 depending on the type of search required and the level of searching that is completed.
2. Patent Application Fees
The UK Patent Office charges fees for filing a patent application, with rates depending on factors such as the type of patent and the number of claims being made. The current fee for a standard patent application is £112.50 for in-office filings and £75 for online filings.
3. Patent Attorney Fees
Many people work with attorneys to help navigate the patent process. Expect to pay an average of £4,000 depending on the complexity of the invention and the level of service being provided. For an accurate estimate, it’s best to consult an attorney.
4. Patent Examination Fees
After submitting your application, it will undergo examination by the Patent Office to determine whether it meets the requirements for patentability. The fee for a substantive examination online is currently £100 + £10 for each page of description over 35 and £130 + £10 for an in-person examination. The fees for your Chartered Patent Attorney can vary but might add several thousand pounds to the costs of getting your patent through to grant.
5. Renewal Fees
Once your patent is granted, you must pay ongoing renewal fees to maintain your protection. These fees are due annually and can range from £70-£610 depending on how long ago the patent was filed.
Factors That Affect Patent Costs
Aside from the type of patent you’re seeking, other factors can impact the cost of patenting your idea. This includes:
Geographic Scope – Filing patent applications in different countries means that you must comply with the patent laws and regulations of each country, which may have varying requirements and fees. Additionally, each country’s patent office may charge different fees for filing, examining and maintaining patents. You may also need to hire local patent attorneys or agents to navigate the patent application process. Translation costs may also be required. This can mean that extending your patent to several countries could cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Legal Assistance – Many entrepreneurs work with a patent attorney or agent to help them navigate the patent application process. This can be a worthwhile investment but will also add to the cost of patenting your idea. Be sure to discuss service costs upfront and get a precise estimate of the overall cost of obtaining a patent.
Quality of Written Disclosures – The quality of entrepreneurs’ ‘ written disclosure material significantly impacts the time and effort attorneys need to complete patent applications. Entrepreneurs can minimise legal fees by preparing clear and comprehensive invention disclosure materials, including figures and detailed examples.
Entrepreneurs should also inform their attorneys immediately of any changes or evolution in the technical scope of the invention to avoid additional rounds of revision and drafting, which can result in increased legal fees.
Ownership Structure – If all entrepreneurs assign the invention to a single entity, the process is straightforward, and legal fees are minimal. However, if the invention has multiple owners or if the originators have disagreements regarding ownership, the assignment process becomes more complex, which can increase legal fees.
Minimise patenting costs with Design 2 Market
Our comprehensive patent search services identify prior art and patentability of your invention, which can save you from the unnecessary costs of pursuing a patent. We also offer cost-effective patent application services, including filing and prosecution, to help you secure a strong patent. Book a call with our design experts today to learn more about our patent protection services.