Costs Associated with the International Phase PCT
For a PCT application prepared from scratch (in the absence of a priority application), my fixed legal fee is the same as for preparation of a non-provisional U.S. application – ranging from $2,500 to $8,000 depending on the complexity and quality of the invention disclosure plus the initial PCT fees. The initial PCT fees comprise at least an additional $2,319 (if you select the Korean Patent Office as your International Search Authority).
PCT Application Based on an Earlier Filed National Applications
For a PCT application prepared based on a national application, and which does not require extensive editing, the cost of preparation is $800. In practice, foreign applications often require extensive editing for presentation in the correct technical and grammatical English. Additionally, the claims have to be often corrected to satisfy the requirements of the USPTO.
When the Application is First Filed in the United States
When my clients have already filed an application with the USPTO, I will prepare a PCT patent application for a fixed amount of $1000.
Filing of the PCT within a Year from the Filing Date of the Non-Provisional U.S. Application
When the applicant wants to file a PCT application within a year of the U.S. application, the PCT application may be filed at a lower cost because the application may be filed electronically.
Filing PCT Application for Foreigners
For foreign residents, I can prepare a PCT application but it must be filed in the receiving office of your country or region of residence or directly with the International Bureau in Geneva. I can help you to prepare the application, but the laws forbid me to sign and submit the application for you. You will need to employ a local patent attorney. Nevertheless, you can use my name and address as the address for the PCT correspondence. Even though I do not have the right to act on your behalf, I will receive all correspondence and make timely payments for you.
PCT National Phase
When you want to enter a national phase, you need to find a foreign representative and pay national fees in the countries that you chose. Thus, the costs may grow significantly.
The Total Cost of the PCT Process
Not long ago, WIPO has published data, according to which a typical PCT application from start to finish will cost up to $25,000. The cost of each individual country can be up to $15,000.
The Cost of the PCT Process Can be Divided into Four Categories:
(1) Government fees. The costs associated with both international and national phases of a PCT application. Such costs can vary widely across different countries (information about fees can be obtained directly from the national patent offices).
(2) The cost of representatives. The costs associated with patent attorneys who assist in preparation, filing, and procuring of the patent applications in different countries. Representation by a local patent attorney is usually mandatory for applicants who do not live in the country chosen for the national phase. Thus, a representative will be required in each country.
(3) Translation into other languages. The cost of translation. A translation is required if you wish to obtain a patent in the official language different from the language in which the application was prepared. The cost of the translation may be high, especially for highly technical patent applications. The cost of a translation depends on the volume and nature of the patent application and can range anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 for a translation.
(4) Maintenance. Maintenance payments are made on a regular basis (for example, every year or every five years) in order to preserve the rights in an application or a patent. Maintenance of patents for the duration of the entire patent term (typically 20 years) in various countries could prove to be costly.