A typical US patent will cost about $40,000, according to data from the American Intellectual Property Legal Association bi-annual survey. This is the average cost across the US for a patent on a “high technology” invention, and your mileage may vary. This price is highly variable – sometimes it will be less, and sometimes much, much more. For a financing solution that makes the fees predictable and uniform, see BlueIronIP.
I break the patent cost into drafting (“preparation”) and prosecution. Preparation includes everything until filing, then prosecution is everything from filing to issue. Preparation is understanding the invention, drafting the claims and the specification, and the odds and ends that need to be done to file the patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The prosecution portion is going back and forth with the patent examiner. The examiner issues an Office action rejecting the claims, and the attorney/agent responds. This back-and-forth can be frustrating at times, but is a necessary part of making sure your patent is strong. The industry average is 4.2 Office actions per case. Just because your patent was rejected initially, that is not a bad thing.
Typically, the costs are roughly half preparation and half prosecution.