Once you have figured out that Patents represent the correct form of Intellectual Property which you need to protect, two important questions need to be addressed:
- How much will it cost to get a patent registration in India?
- Whom do I trust to help me get a patent or I do it myself?
The order of these questions in your mind may vary but both of these questions are practically inter-related. Your patent costs will significantly depend if you select a patent firm / patent agent to help you with the patent process or do it yourself.
If you select a patent firm to help you, then you should know that the government fee for patents in India only accounts for 5 to 25% of the overall cost and the remaining 75 to 95% are professional fees you pay to the patent firm.
In this post, we will focus on calculating the fees involved in a standard patent process considering both the options of taking professional help and the other option of doing everything yourself. The former estimation will be done by considering the approx. average professional patent fee charged by some premier firms in India.
Coming back to the costing, the fees involved during the patent process is essentially incurred as:
- Government fee
- Professional fee
Government patent fee
This is the fee which is payable to the patent office and is a mandatory expense. Based on the type of applicant, the government fee also varies. The Indian patent office divides the applicants as natural person and other than natural person, which are further classified into three types as mentioned below:
- Natural person / Startup – This essentially deals with patent applications filed by one or more individuals as applicants or by a Startup.
- Small Entity – Generally an enterprise can qualify as a small entity if the enterprise is engaged in:
- Manufacture and production of goods – The investment in plant and machinery is less than Rs. 10 crores.
- Providing or rendering services – The investment in equipment is less than Rs. 5 crores.
If you need further information if your enterprise falls under small entity status, you can read more here.
- Other than small entity – This essentially relates to a large entity. Any enterprise which doesn’t qualify as a small entity will be covered under this heading.
Professional patent fee
If you hire a patent firm or a patent expert, professional fee of the patent firm will also be applicable in addition to the government fee. Although, it is not mandatory to hire a patent firm and you can undertake the whole patent process yourself; it is highly recommended to take professional expertise if you are serious about protecting your invention.
The right professional firm can provide immense value to your invention and help you put across an application in the best manner possible. However, this professional help comes at a cost and this cost as mentioned earlier can account for 75 to 95% of the total fee. If you are not sure where to look for high quality patent firms, you should definitely check out Zatalyst’s list of premier patent and IPR firms in India.
Total patent costs: Step by step from filing to grant
In order for you to estimate the cost of the entire process, certain important mandatory and optional steps have been listed herein below in the table along with fee involved, process timelines and turnaround time.
Further, a professional fee range (for premier patent firms in India) is provided as the professional fee can vary significantly from one firm to another. It should also be noted that certain patent firms may charge more or less depending on the amount of work required, volumes, etc. Please also note that the pricing is indicative to help you make your decision whether the fees involved justify the return on investment or you can budget for it accordingly. If you have a tight budget, just let us know and we will connect you with premier firms offering friendly patent prices.
|Steps||Government fee||Professional fee (approx.)||Action type||Timelines||Professional turnaround time (approx.)||Comments|
|Performing a patentability search||NA||15,000 to 30,000||Optional||NA||5-10 days||Optional but recommended. Ideally should be performed before filing the patent application.|
|Patent application drafting||NA||25,000 to 75,000||Mandatory||NA||7-10 days||Based on the state of the invention, a provisional or a complete specification may be drafted and filed. Estimated price is for a complete specification.|
|Patent application filing||1,600 to 8,000||5,000 to 12,000||Mandatory||Provisional (NA)|
Complete (12 months from provisional)
|1-3 days||If a provisional is filed, a complete specification needs to be filed with 12 months.
Additional government filing fee is applicable if the number of claims exceeds 10 and number of pages of patent specification exceeds 30.
|Request for early Publication||2,500 to 12,500||5,000 to 12,000||Optional||NA||1-3 days||A patent application is ordinarily published in 18 months. Rights of the applicant start only once the application is published. A request for early publication can be made to get the application published early. Further, if the request for examination is also made, the examination process may start early as well.|
|Request for Examination (RFE)||4,000 to 20,000||5,000 to 12,000||Mandatory||48 months from priority date (earliest filing date)||1-3 days||Examination of patent application starts only after the request for examination is filed. If you are sure and wish to continue further with the patent application, it is advisable to file the request at the earliest. However, if you wish to wait and test the potential of the invention before deciding to invest further, it is advisable to delay the filing till the end of the timeline.|
|Responding to examination reports||NA||20,000 to 60,000||Mandatory||Generally, around 1 to 2 years from RFE||7-15 days||The patent office examines the patent application and issues a First Examination Report (FER). Subsequent examination reports may also be issued based on the response to FER and / or further objections raised by the Examiner.|
|Hearing||NA||5,000 to 20,000||Optional||Generally, within 6-9 months from issue of FER||2-4 days||In certain cases, the patent office may grant a hearing based on the request of the applicant, or if the examiner believes it will help in deciding before taking a decision on granting / rejecting the patent application.|
|Grant & Renewal||NA||1,000 to 5,000||NA||Generally, after 6-9 months from the issue of FER||NA||Once the patent office has decided to grant the patent application, it will issue the patent. One, it is issued; it has to be renewed every year. A patent can be renewed till the maximum term of 20 years.|
Please note that all the fee quoted here is for electronic filings. The patent office also accepts paper filings but there is an additional 10% government fee for paper filings.
If you decide to undertake the whole patent process yourself and not hire a patent firm, the following fee (only government fee) may be applicable during a standard patent process.
Below you can see an estimation of the total fee involved (with or without professional help) for an individual / startup, small entity or a large entity.
|Individual(s) / Startup
||Small entity||Large Entity|
|Drafting patent application||0||0||0||40000 (25000 to 75000)|
|Patent application filing||1600||1600||8000||8000 (5000 to 12000)|
|Filing request for examination||4000||4000||20000||8000 (5000 to 12000)|
|Responding to examination reports||0||0||0||30000 (20000 to 60000)|
|Grant||0||0||0||1000 (1000 to 5000)|
|Total (without professional help)||5600||5600||28000||87000 (56000 to 164000)|
|Total (with professional help)||92600
(61600 to 169600)
(70000 to 178000)
(84000 to 192000)
If you have any queries regarding the patent fees in India, please feel free to post a comment. We try our best to answer each and every comment within a few hours.