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.
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.