If you’re a business owner and need protection for a great idea, you may be wondering how much it will cost to get a patent in Europe. While the final cost can be hard to predict, there are some key factors that can help you estimate the cost of an average European patent.
First, it’s important to understand that there are several steps involved in the patent process, each with its own costs. Let’s break them down.
Before you can even consider filing a patent application, you’ll need to invest in research and development to bring your idea to life. While this cost is essential to your business, we won’t include it in the cost of patenting, as it’s a necessary cost whether or not you decide to pursue a patent.
Before you file a patent application, you may want to conduct a novelty search to see if your idea is worth protecting. This search typically costs around 500 EUR.
Assuming you’ve decided to pursue a patent, the first major cost is drafting and filing the patent application. This cost can vary wildly (anywhere from 4,000 – 15,000 EUR) depending on the attorney you pick and the amount of time they spend on drafting. However, our fixed pricing makes it predictable: 4,950 EUR (3,955 EUR for drafting and 995 EUR for filing the application).
In addition to the attorney’s fee, you’ll also need to pay the European Patent Office (EPO) a filing fee of 1,595 EUR. This includes a fee of 135 EUR for filing the application and 1,460 EUR for having the application searched.
Once your application is filed, the EPO will examine it to determine whether or not to grant the patent. This process on average involves preparing and filing two office action responses. Our fixed prices for the first two responses will typically be 3,990 EUR.
Examination on average takes around 5 years, so you’ll probably need to pay renewal fees to the EPO for years 3, 4, and 5, totalling 2,115 EUR.
If the EPO decides to grant your patent, you’ll need to pay a grant fee of 1,040 EUR. You’ll also need to have the claims translated into French and German, which typically costs between 100 – 200 EUR.
It’s important to note that not every patent application will be granted. Assuming a 50/50 chance of success, for every granted patent, you may lose one. The cost of an application that isn’t granted can vary depending on when it was dropped or refused, but on average, it’s roughly half the cost of an application that is granted – around 8,500 – 9,000 EUR.
Adding up these costs gives you a budget of 16,790 – 16,890 EUR spread out over 5 years. Assuming a 50/50 chance of success, we estimate that each granted patent will cost in the region of 25 – 28k EUR. Keep in mind that the EPO’s fees (and our fees) may change over time, so it’s a good idea to include some buffer in your budget.
However, success rates can vary depending on the technology you’re working on, so why not get in touch to get a more accurate estimate? We can help you understand the key steps involved and the associated costs, so you can create a more accurate budget for your patent application and a better idea of its chances of getting granted.