Budgeting for a Patent

ATMAC Nov 13 2014

The initial cost to draft and file a new patent application in the computer / electronics fields will typically range from $7000-12,000 CAD. This cost includes both our service fees and the government fees for filing the application. We’ll give you a more solid upfront cost estimate based on your invention and anticipated complexity and time requirements. However, the filing costs are not the end of the costs.

A ballpark upper number for the full price to patent an invention in both Canada and the United States is $35,000 CAD. You will find a lot of patent related advertisements on the Internet that do not provide any indication of the full costs. We believe it’s helpful for inventors to know an upper estimate of the complete costs upfront rather than only knowing some very low “get-started” fees.

To give you an idea, here’s an example of “typical” costs:

Year 0: Small entity filing in Canada

Task Typical cost (CAD)
Drafting new application $10,000
Filing fees at CIPO $600
Misc. after filing costs (assignment, certified copy) $650
  Total: $11,250

Year 1: Small entity filing in U.S.A

Task Typical cost (CAD)
Updating draft for US filing $1000
Filing fees at USPTO $1000
  Total: $2000


Year 2-4: Prosecution phase & issuance

Task Typical cost (CAD)
Canada $5000
USA $5000
  Total: $10,000


Years 2-19: Maintenance

Task Typical cost (CAD
Canada $3200
USA $7300
  Total: $10,500


Grand total over 20 year life


(~$1700/year average)

(~$140/month average


Your actual costs may be significantly less than shown above, but at least you have an idea of the range that may be required.

As shown, there are fees required at various times throughout the twenty year life cycle. You need to be prepared for this. Unless you sell the patents and someone else takes over, once you start the process you should be prepared to see it through (or have a predefined exit plan). Generally speaking, if you stop paying in a particular country, you will lose your investment and your invention will enter the public domain in that country.

When you average the costs out over the full twenty year period and consider the benefits that you can obtain by having a strong patent portfolio, you should find it’s actually not that expensive. We suggest allocating an initial investment to get the application drafted and filed in a first country. Then set up an ongoing monthly patent budget. Accumulate the unused funds from the budget in the months when no costs are incurred so you’re ready to pay larger sums at later times when required.

Download a PDF of example patent costs

Request a cost estimate