A typical US patent cost is over $60,000.
This is according to the American Intellectual Property Legal Association bi-annual survey. This is the average patent cost across the US for a patent on a “high technology” invention, and your mileage may vary.
The patent costs are roughly half drafting (“preparation”) and prosecution. Preparation includes everything until filing, then prosecution is everything from filing to issue. Preparation is understanding the invention, drafting the claims and the specification, and the odds and ends that need to be done to file the patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The prosecution portion is going back and forth with the patent examiner. The examiner issues an Office action rejecting the claims, and the attorney/agent responds. This back-and-forth can be frustrating at times, but is a necessary part of making sure your patent is strong. The industry average is about 4.2 Office actions per patent. Just because your patent was rejected initially, that is not a bad thing.
Patent preparation costs average over $15K for drafting the patent application and all associated fees. This will include a very significant cost of learning your technology and your business goals, then crafting the patent application to match your needs.
Patent prosecution costs average over $25K. This will include going back and forth with the patent examiner, interviewing the examiner and, where applicable, the examiner’s supervisor, and going to appeal if necessary. Once there is allowable subject matter, the issue fee is paid and the patent is granted.
There is a large variability in costs to get a patent. Some will issue quickly and not cost so much, but others may take a considerable amount of effort and cost to get allowed.
One thing to note that these are average prices. Your mileage may vary, and when you add in costs like Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) costs, divisional applications, continuation applications, and the like, it is easy to exceed $60,000.