10 Tips to Cut Down Costs of Your Patenting Process
10 Tips to Cut Down Costs of Your Patenting Process: It is now a common practice for an inventor to file for a patent to protect his/her invention. The process of patenting, however, is often arduous and expensive. This is because, it is a multi-step process that involves costs and requires review of a patent application at various stages. Apart from the hefty fees charged by a skilled patent attorney, the official fees associated with patent filing often burns a hole in an inventor’s pocket. However, there are certain ways by which they can bring down the overall patent expenditure. Read the following article to know what you can do to reduce the expenses related to the patenting process.
1. Conduct a patentability search
To obtain a patent, you must prove the novelty and non-obviousness of an invention. A prior art search should be undertaken to find out whether your invention is patentable or not. According to WIPO, a prior art search “relates to an organized review of prior art material available from public sources.” Ideally, you should outsource this process to a patent service provider based out of countries like India. Attorneys in developed countries will charge you more than a patent service provider based in an emerging economy.
2. Outsource your patent application
A patent application consists primarily of technical information about your invention. This application helps you in making your case before the authorities. It is an integral part of the patent process. A US law firm or an attorney can charge you a hefty amount just for preparing the patent application. Instead, it is recommended to opt for a patent service provider that can assist US based patent attorney. Accordingly, patent preparation cost can be reduced significantly.
3. Choose between a regular patent and a provisional patent
A regular patent usually lasts for 20 years. A provisional patent gives you interim protection for one year until you file a regular patent application. It also costs considerably less than a regular patent. You can go for a provisional patent to buy yourself some time. Meanwhile, you can conduct market research to determine if it is worth filing for a regular patent. After you have done exhaustive market research, you can file a regular patent in the countries where you think the investment will pay off.
4. Save costs on routine documents
The patenting process involves several routine documents. Considering the hourly rates of attorneys in developed countries, you will be better off outsourcing the drafting of routine documents to patent service providers in countries such as India. You can get quality work done at less than half the rates.
5. Set a budget
Set a budget for the patenting process and communicate the same to your patent attorney. Be clear that you cannot pay more than your budget. The attorney can then work according to the mutually agreed budget. Ask your attorney at the outset the steps you can take to reduce your costs. Additionally, try to understand the billing practices of your attorney thoroughly.
6. Know the costs associated with multiple patents
You can easily find out the cost you incur in a year when you file a single patent. However, if you file multiple patents every year, costs pile up, and it becomes more difficult for you to keep track of your expenses. As your patent portfolio grows, so do your costs. You should consider the cumulative impact of filing multiple patents.
7. Keep track of “time to disposition”
“Time to disposition” is the period it takes for a patent from the date of filing to the date of expiration, grant, or abandonment. Usually, pending applications have interactions with the patent office once a year. For that, there is an annual expense. Similarly, granted patents also have annual fees. You can bring applications to a closure via abandonment, or you can allow the granted patents to expire in order to reduce costs.
8. Be involved in the patenting process
You should be actively involved in every step of the patenting process. This means you should analyze and review every document drafted by your patent attorney. By doing this, you can prevent mistakes in the patenting process and reduce the time it takes for the patent office to grant your patent.
9. Select your intended markets carefully
Before applying for patents in multiple countries, it is advisable to conduct a thorough market research. What is your intended market? Will you make enough money in that country to justify the cost of the patent? What are the maintenance and other related costs in various countries? Ask yourself these questions before filing a patent in various countries. Only file a patent in those countries where you will recover your costs and earn some profit.
10. Save money on objections
After you file a patent application, the patent examiner files his objection. You will have to file a response to answer his objections. The response should have a reply to every ground of rejection made by the examiner. Writing a patent objection costs a lot of money. You can hire a patent service provider based out of countries like India to get this job done at extremely affordable rates to cut down your costs.
The Way Forward
The cost of obtaining and maintaining patents can put a lot of financial strain on any company or inventor. Make sure you understand the costs associated with the patenting process beforehand. Furthermore, try to start the process only after you are sure that the patent will recover its costs and earn you a substantial profit. We recommend that you use the tips mentioned above to cut down your patenting process costs.
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