A patentable invention must be new (“novel”), useful, and not merely an obvious improvement of existing technology. In addition, any public disclosure of the invention (e.g. trade show, conference, marketing information) starts a one-year grace period in which to submit a patent application in the United States. Contact me to discuss the specifics of your invention.
After an initial consultation, I will provide you with a fee estimate to prepare your application. The USPTO collects the following basic fees:
- Filing fees, at the time of application submission
- Issue fees, when a patent is allowed
- Periodic maintenance fees, to keep a patent in force after 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years
- Some fees are reduced for small or micro entities
- Current USPTO Fee Schedule
When a patent application has been filed, an invention may be marked ‘Patent Pending’ even if the application has not been examined or published. Inventions covered by a provisional patent application may also qualify as patent pending.
In 2013 the United States changed from a “First to Invent” to a “First Inventor to File” system. To protect your IP, it is now even more important to file your patent application quickly, especially if you have publicly disclosed your invention in any way. Read more at the USPTO website.
Micro Entity: The USPTO recently created this new inventor status to encourage innovation by giving a 75% discount on many patent fees to individuals or small businesses who qualify based on income limits and number of previous patents. Find out if you qualify.
Small Entity: A 50% discount is available to many individuals and small business who do not qualify as micro entity, if the invention is not licensed to a large business.