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1. Overview
2. Preparation and
    Filing
3. Correspondance
    with PTO
4. Issuance of Patent
5. Summary of
    Procedures
6. Domestic and
    Foreign Rights
7. Deadlines for Filing
    a Patent Application
8. Deadlines for filing
    U.S. Patent Application
9. Deadlines for filing
    Foreign Patent Application
10. Life of a Patent


     Preparation and Filing of a
Utility Patent Application


       he preparation of a patent application normally costs about $5,357 to $21,722, including attorneys fees, draftsman's fees, and other incidentals to the preparation of the application. This charge is in addition to the charge for the patentability search and opinions rendered thereon. It is customary to ask for an advance retainer in the full amount of the estimated cost of the application before work on the patent application is commenced. This retainer covers expenses which must be advanced to the patent drawing draftsman and toward the legal fees incidental to the preparation of the application. The remainder, if any, of the charges for the preparation of the application are normally invoiced when the application is submitted to the inventor for signature prior to filing with the Patent and Trademark Office.

      The cost of the application varies with the complexity of the invention and its similarity to previous patents. If your invention is simple you can probably expect to pay approximately $5,357 or less for the drafting of the application. A sole inventor or small business pays substantially lower government filing fees than large corporations, so those applicants who have developed inventions on their own will pay lower government filing fees and the cost of their application will be towards the lower end of the price range.

      As a general rule, a patent application is filed with a description of the invention, drawings which illustrate the invention and one or more claims that define the legal rights of a patent owner to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention in the United States for twenty years from the date of filing with the Patent Office. It is also possible to file a provisional application without claims to obtain an earlier filing date. However, provisional applications are not placed upon the files for examination until all required parts, including claims, are filed with the Patent Office. A provisional application, if not completed within twelve months, will be considered abandoned.
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