If you are broke and you need a cheap patent, how can you get one? The US Patent office is designed so that individuals can get a patent themselves without the help of a lawyer. You can write the patent yourself, submit it and pay the filing fees. I have done this a few times and I have even worked with patent examiners when the claims were not allowed to get a patent issued.
Is this method free? No. You will always have to pay the filing fees to get your patent examined and then pay the issue fee once it is allowed. Click here for the latest fees at the USPTO. In the end these fees add up to over $1000. Although it is not free you will still be getting a cheap patent.
Still too expensive you say. Another option is to file a provisional patent. A provisional patent will allow you to claim patent pending status for up to one year. Currently it only costs a little more than $100 USD to file a provisional patent. The only downside to the provisional patent is that at the end of the one year time period you will loose all patent rights to the invention if you do not file a utility patent application.
The strategy that I like to use is to file the provisional patent myself. I write and file it for around $100. Then I go out and start to market my invention. I either look for a partner or find a company that will license the product idea. As part of the negotiation I get them to pay for the utility patent.
So it is possible to get a patent for around $100. Now that is cheap. If you think that is still too expensive, you are out of luck. Happy patenting.
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