Strategies to Manage Patent Costs

Trademark Registration

Due to the concerns related to budget cuts, the finance and Intellectual Property (IP) teams of companies that need to obtain patents year after year, are under enormous pressure. Besides, people usually want to get their inventions patented in all countries worldwide, but unable to do so because the process appears quite expensive. Therefore, it is significant for them to use cost-effective strategies that help them in keeping their patenting budget under control.

The below strategies can help the inventors in controlling their patenting costs not just at the time of filing but also throughout the lifecycle of a patent.

  1. Be careful while deciding about the country

There is nothing like ‘International Patent’ or ‘World Patent’ in our intellectual property industry. In other words, no single patent can protect an invention in all the nations of the world. It means if the applicant wishes to obtain patent protection in any country, he needs to apply for the patent in that particular nation. Hence, the foremost step in cost-effective strategies includes market assessment of product potential, the nature of the invention, growth of technology within the lifecycle of the patent, the enforceability of patents, competitors and their filing strategies. Moreover, it is crucial to know how different jurisdictions define patentable or non-patentable inventions. For instance – under the Patent Law of India, Europe, and Canada, the inventors cannot obtain patent rights for methods of diagnosis or treatment.

  1. Go for e-filing services

Intending to improve their carbon footprint, enhance efficiency, and cut costs, IP offices of many countries, including Australia, India, Japan, Brazil, Malaysia, etc., offer e-filing services at preferential rates. Take advantage of these services.

  1. Emphasize translation costs

Translation costs often get highlighted:

  • When filing a Patent Application in jurisdictions where English is not in use as an official language.
  • At the time of verifying a granted European patent in the relevant EPO member states.
  • While the allowance of a European patent.

To reduce the translation costs, you should emphasize English language jurisdictions, remove redundant texts from your patent specifications, and focus on effective patent drafting.

  1. Be familiar with the variations in fee

The patenting fees vary as per two things; the jurisdictions and the claims involved in an application. Claims in the patent application can affect the fees not just at the time of filing a patent but also while requesting its testing and maintaining its validity. Hence, it is beneficial to merge multiple claims into single such that it appears the dependant form of merged ones. Besides, don’t forget to delete the claims that hold limited value and high probability of refusal.

  1. Consider using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

By allowing the inventor to file one international patent application, PCT helps him to defer the costs of filing national patent applications in 150 nations by around 30 months from the day of the first filing.

  1. Choose ISA carefully

The process of applying for a patent under PCT involves the selection of ISA (International Searching Authority) to undertake prior art search for ascertaining the inventiveness and originality of the technology for which the inventor is seeking a patent. At present, 22 patent offices operate as ISAs across the world. It is advisable to choose the ISA situated in the nation where you plan to file a national phase patent. You should also consider the time that ISAs takes to produce reports and the quality of these reports while selecting an ISA.

  1. Prefer filing request for examination together with your application

Filing a request for examination at the time of applying for a patent will help you in saving not just money but also the time in jurisdictions that follow a deferred system of testing.

  1. Have the benefit of modified substantive examination option

It is an option, where the IP offices can grant patent even if it corresponds to one already patented in any other jurisdiction. Usage of this option can help you in having the benefits of substantial savings on prosecution costs.

  1. Keep supporting documents in sequence

Ensure keeping supporting documents, like certified priority documents, assignment deeds, or other, handy as it will aid you in avoiding expensive and painful delays.

  1. Don’t miss the expedited processing option

Many national patent offices collaborate through PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) to streamline and expedite the processing of patent applications. Don’t forget to take advantage of this option.

  1. Make attempts to reduce maintenance fees

Just by declaring your intention to license a patent to any successful or willing third-party, you can reduce the expensive maintenance cost to the least possible extent.

  1. Emphasize strategic abandonment

Strategic abandonment that extends the patent ages can lead to substantial savings in the maintenance fees payable throughout the lifecycle of patents.

Since obtaining and maintaining a patent can leave your company’s finance teams with tremendous strain, it is imperative to use cost-effective strategies that would effectively support your business goals. For more visit:

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