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Forecasting the IP Portfolio Budget

Forecasting the budget of an IP portfolio can be a challenging task. A basic internet search can help you estimate the cost of a single US patent, but your actual IP budget may differ considerably.

For IP management purposes, it is far more important to analyze the cost breakdown of a ‘patent family’ -- a patent that is filed in multiple countries.

The American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association publishes a bi-annual survey that itemizes the cost of an “average” US patent: preparation (search and drafting), prosecution and office fees -- totaling $44,000. Extrapolating this data to estimate the cost of a patent family is revealing. For a patent family filed in the US and four other countries, where fees and prosecution costs are duplicated in each country, the total cost is $162,000. A breakdown of patent costs shows that patent preparation is a one-time, fixed expense for both a single patent and a patent family. For a patent family of 5 patent applications, the preparation cost is only 9% of t#he total cost.

If you are looking to streamline your IP budget, consider reviewing your territory filing strategy and analyzing prosecution costs – they represent 91% of the total cost.

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