How much does it cost to obtain a patent?

Patenting is an expensive activity, with costs distributed throughout the patent prosecution process. Once a patent is granted, renewal fees must be paid to keep a patent in force. Actual costs will vary depending on the technology area and patent strategy of the invention concerned, and will be determined by factors such as:

  • Hourly charge-out rates of local and international patent attorneys
  • Complexity of the invention (which may influence the length of the specification, number of claims and amount of time spent by the patent attorney)
  • Official disbursements to patent offices
  • Number and type of objections raised by patent examiners
  • Number of countries in which applications are filed
  • Translation costs for certain foreign filings.

Provisional: R10-25K
PCT: R40-60K
Demand for examination: R40K
National phase applications: R10-60K/territory
National phase prosecution: ~50% of costs already incurred

The DST (through relevant implementing agencies) has for some years assisted public research institutions with support for IP-related expenses via a programme which allows us to claim back up to half of all eligible expenses.

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