As of April 2020, the provisional filing fee is $70-$280 and a utility application typically costs $430-$1,720, depending on the size of the entity that is filing. These are the fees the USPTO charges for filing, excluding patent attorney or agent drafting fees. While these numbers make a provisional application look more attractive compared to a utility application, keep in mind that a provisional application defers the costs of a utility application. The provisional application must be converted to a utility application no later than one year after the provisional filing date to keep the application progressing toward a granted patent.
The definitions of micro, small, and large entity are too involved to include here. Contact me for more information.
While an optional step towards a granted patent, a provisional patent application can secure you an earlier filing date while leaving options for refining the invention and delaying the expense of a utility application. This is a powerful tool provided by the USPTO!
Continue learning about provisional patent applications with What is a provisional patent application? and When should I file a provisional patent application?
Contact me for help developing the right intellectual property strategy. I have been registered to practice before the USPTO since 2007. Before then, I was a systems and hardware engineer at a large precision agriculture company. I’ve walked the walk, combining experiences of designing products, drafting and prosecuting many patent applications, negotiating many contracts, and operating my own business.
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Disclosure and limitation: This guide is for informational purposes only. The contents of this guide are not legal advice, and no attorney client relationship has been formed.