In my limited experience, a provisional will run ya about $2000-$4000 ish, a utility $7500.00-$10,000 and up depending on the complexity of the patent. Here`s my take on the is it worth it part of your question. For ME, yes! I love my attorney, and she`s worth every penny. You can`t be all things to all people and you need to play to your strengths and outsource the rest. When starting a company, bringing and idea to market or even going the licensing route, you have SOOOO many hats to wear that you can`t possibly wear them all. Personally, I had neither the time nor expertise to do this very important step myself. I do know people that have successfully written their own patents and successfully licensed them, but that`s just not me. I budgeted this expense into my startup costs as one of the those necessary evils. If are one of those people that have tons more time then money, and have the drive, energy and smarts to learn all the language, rules, and nuances of writing a patent, then by all means, give it whirl. This wasn`t a risk I was willing to take. I know my strengths and legal jargon isn`t one of them. This is a decision only you can make for yourself.
I did not have the money or the expertise either. But since I had less money than time, I wrote my own provisional and then converted it to a regular. And, although I am smarter than the average bear, it was very difficult and my finished product was clumsy at best. To top things off, my idea was not really patent worthy. If I had spoken to a patent attorney, I could have saved my self a lot of trouble.
And although you can “edit” and re-submit your application if it is denied, this apparently makes it less defendable in court if it is ever contested.
On the bright side, I now have a great deal of understanding about how the patent process works.
well heres my bit...I paid 500.00 for a patent attorney to do some research on a Idea that I had come up with back in 1992. I found out that the basic idea of my idea was patented in 1994. The firm then told me why I couldn`t go any further with it. This was in 2000. At the time they said that I could basiclly patent certain parts of my version of the Idea but that would be it.
Its been now 8 yrs and the patent holder has done nothing with it. His pencil sketch does not give it any justice. My version of this idea done up on a Rapid prototype desinge in my opinion would probably bring it to market. Having said this...I`m responding because the firm never gave me any options or advice on what other possibilities were out their. We all know that we have to be positive right, "if their is a will, their is a way," right? I mean just a little bit of helpful advice would of been apreciated, wether it was contacting the patent holder myself, or getting desinge protection and other ways of helping me make some sound desciions concerning what to do. Even if it would of cost me more for the legal advice I might of been willing to pay for it had they offered me more legal advice. So I`m not so sure if they are always looking out for ways to help you persue your dreams and with proper Desinge and engineering, especially if they figure you don`t have the capital to pay and stay in it for the long haul!! this is my take. I`m going to think twice now before I ever think about hiring one....
Ditto TigerTaco!!!! YIPEEEE!!!