4 options for getting a patent on a limited budget

4 options for getting a patent on a limited budget

August 10, 2022
Walker Weitzel
Patent Attorney , Patent Law , Patent Learning


The patent process be a costly investment. There are a number of ways that inventors can reduce or defer the expense in order to establish ownership or priority of an idea.

Is it possible to file a patent application yourself, saving expensive patent attorney charges and bringing down your costs? Read on to find out. Here are the 4 best routes to filing a patent application.

1. File the patent application yourself

There is no legal requirement that says you need a lawyer to file a patent. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows you to write and submit the patent yourself. But you have to pay the patent filing fees and the subsequent issuance fees once it has been approved. While this method can save a significant amount in patent agent or attorney’s fees, it can be difficult to draft a quality patent if you are new to drafting. A hybrid option related to this is to draft the application yourself and then have an attorney review the application prior to filing. This will ensure that all of the formal requirements are met and that the application is well drafted.

How Much Does A Patent Cost?

The fee for filing a patent ranges from $430 To $860 and depends on whether you qualify as a micro or small-sized entity. That may seem quite high but it’s a lot cheaper than getting a patent attorney and paying an hourly fee of $400 or more. 

2. Want To Save More? File A Provisional Patent Application

If you can’t afford the patent filing fees, you can opt for a provisional patent application instead. A provisional patent application provides a patent pending date that is 12 months from the date of the application filed, putting your patent into pending status with a priority date for a year. It gives your patent protection, preventing it from being stolen until you can file a non-provisional patent application before the end of the priority date on your prior application. 

What’s The Cost Of a Provisional Patent Application?

The provisional patent application can be filed for $70 to $140. It must include all the details and specifications of your patent product or design to provide adequate protection. But it only provides 12 months of security and you lose your patent rights if you don’t file a provisional patent application before the expiry of the given date. 

A provisional patent application is often filed by patentees with limited budgets or by inventors that are still working on the commercial case for their invention. It gives them the time to test and market their invention. And if the patent is valuable and feasible, inventors can collect the funds for a provisional patent application and file it themselves or hire a lawyer to do it.

3. Are There Cheaper Alternatives?

What if you can’t afford an attorney or file a patent application yourself?

You can look for eligible candidates on platforms such as Fiver or Upwork to have them write your application and file it yourself. The primary drawback to this route is that it can be very difficult to ensure that you are getting quality work done. There is a significant chance that the patent application will not be prepared according to the USPTO requirement and have details or specifics missing. Therefore, it is better to file the application yourself after ensuring all the formal requirements have been met. 

4. The Safest Solution? Get A Patent Attorney 

While money is the biggest hurdle when filing for a patent, hiring a reputable patent lawyer is the safest option. It ensures that all the application is filed properly with all the necessary details, eliminating hurdles or issues in the future. 

How Much Does A Patent Attorney Cost?

Patent lawyer fees can vary for each firm or attorney, ranging from $3000 to $5000 for a provisional patent application and $6000 to $1000 for a non-provisional. However, a patent attorney’s experience and knowledge ensures that the patent application is thorough. It covers your invention specifications in detail, minimizing the chances of your application being rejected. 

Whatever option you choose to file your patent application, analyze the advantages, disadvantages, and future repercussions before following through. Your patent’s future prospects and rights will depend on how secure your application is.

Specialists In Patent Law

Alloy Patent Law provides accessible and quality representation for intellectual property rights protection. We understand that each case is different and take the time to work with patent inventors to strategize and design applications accordingly. Our pricing system is transparent and fair without any hidden fees or charges. You can contact us for a free consultation by phone or online. We will be happy to guide you with your patent case or application.  

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    Call a Provisional Patent Application lawyer today  - (206) 899-6980

    Our experienced patent lawyers are standing by to provide the guidance you need. Contact Alloy Patent Law today at (206) 899-6980.