Patent application worldwide - costs
By following the PCT procedure, your patent can become valid in a large number of countries for a fee of 4,000 euro to 5,000 euro a year.
High costs are incurred from the third year. You should ensure that you know which countries are important in relation to your specific invention. Such countries might not only include those in which you operate but also those countries in which you could potentially gain greater benefit by having a patent registered in that country, possibly through sales or licensing.
Costs at the WIPO
You may file an application directly with the WIPO or initially with NL Patent Office. The application fees are only charged once, when you begin your application for an international patent. These fees consist of:
- Transmittal fee: 50 euro
- International filing fee: 999 euro
- Search fee: 1,785 euro
- Preliminary examination fee: 1,760 euro
- Handling fee: 121 euro
- PCT applications filed using the online filing facility: 150 euro
- Applications filed via the PCT-Easy facility: 75 euro
Costs patent attorney
The costs involved in enlisting the expert help of a patent attorney can be considerable. Patent attorneys charge an hourly rate that is similar to that charged by lawyers. You should prepare thoroughly your visit to a patent attorneys' office by developing your idea in detail. Preferably, you should search the patent databases for several patent publications that relate to your invention prior to your first visit and take these with you. This will save the patent attorney some work and keep costs down.
A patent is a technical and legal document. It grants you the right to prohibit others to bring your product on the market. You must therefore describe your invention in legal terms too. If a patent application is written by a patent attorney, it has a greater chance of success in legal proceedings. The price depends on the complexity of your invention and the rates charged by the patent attorney. For the first 30 months of the PCT-procedure you have to take into account an amount of about 20,000 euro. The costs for the whole PCT-procedure (application, European and national phase and costs for a patent attorney) vary from 50,000 euro to 100,000 euro. Patent attorneys can give you more detailed information about the costs.
When initially applying for a patent in the Netherlands in Dutch, you are required to have your patent translated into e.g. German, English or French (or one of the other languages recognised within the PCT procedure) prior to filing the application. Once thirty months have elapsed following the priority date, you must decide if and where you wish to pursue your patent application. You must file a translation of the patent in these countries. The costs associated with the translation of your application depend on the size of the document and the rates of the translation agency.
Finally, you must also take into consideration that costs may be payable for asserting your rights in the event of patent infringement. The amount you should set aside depends on the risk of infringement and the legal fees in that country.