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Startups: Patent Filing Is Cheaper Than You Think

By John DiGiacomo

Filing a patent application as a startup can seem daunting and infeasible because the cost associated with obtaining a patent is so high. For most startups money is tight, and spending money on something as intangible as patent protection seems like a low priority. However, the benefits of having patent protection on an innovative device or method that the startup has created can be immense. For instance, patent protection can be absolutely critical for securing your startup’s competitive advantage in the market. Not only that, but having a patent application on file at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can make the startup attractive to potential investors.

The best advice for startups that have a novel invention to bring to the market is for the startup to figure out how to obtain the patent you need for your startup’s technology. There are ways to reduce the cost associated with filing for a patent application, and an experienced New York patent lawyer will be able to help you and your startup make the most of your startup’s intellectual property budget.

Filing for a Patent Might Not be as Expensive as You Think

A lot of startups have the misconception that filing a patent application is prohibitively expensive. But this is incorrect. Startups may qualify for special status with the USPTO that can get them a reduced rate for patent application filing fees. Startups that are eligible could be classified as having:

  • Small entity status. To get small entity status, the startup must have fewer than 500 employees or be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Small entity status companies get reduced rates of 50% off regular filing fees.
  • Micro entity status. In order to get micro entity status, the startup must qualify as a small entity, but then also not be named on more than four issued patents, and cannot make more than three times the the median household income as reported by the Census Bureau. Micro entity status companies get reduced rates of 75% off regular filing fees. Micro entity status is also available to startups that have an obligation to assign patent rights to an institute of higher learning.

If you think that your startup is eligible for either small or micro entity status, you should work with an experienced attorney to complete your patent filing. There are certain filing requirements that need to be met in order to obtain the status designation. Additionally, it is important to know that the US patent system is a first to file system, which means that the first inventor to file a patent application will get the patent if one is issued. So time is of the essence and your startup needs to get moving on filing your patent application in order to protect and preserve your IP rights.

Help Filing a Patent Application

While there is no legal requirement that you have to have a lawyer in order to file a patent application with the federal government, but there are a lot of specific legal requirements that must be satisfied in order to file a patent application. Many startups would rather have a patent lawyer file their patent application in order to focus more time and energy on building up the startup.  The professionals at Revision Legal can help you seek the patent protection your startup needs. Contact us today using the form on this page or call us at 855-473-8474.

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