More than eight million patents are held worldwide by thousands of businesses, many of which do not know they are paying far more than necessary to renew their patents.
For each patent a business holds, a fee must be paid to the patent office every year to keep their intellectual property in force. If you hold patents in multiple regions, the costs can quickly spiral out of control.
To manage the process, most of these businesses employ the expensive legal expertise of patent attorneys, believing that the renewal process is complicated. In fact, the process is very simple. So these patent holders are, in turn, often paying four times the patent office fees they are required to pay – unnecessarily.
This is because most patent attorneys outsource the work to other companies without the patent-holder knowing and these organisations mostly quote a single fee for each renewal, but then bury hidden charges into inflated foreign exchange rates.
For instance, to make a United States Large Entity 3rd renewal with one of the market leading international renewals company, we were quoted a patent office fee of $7,400, which at the time of the quote and exchange rate, equalled £6,585.
But the actual patent office fee was only £5,094, meaning that the company charged its client £1,490 somewhere in this exchange process. It is expected that the patent holder will not bother to check what the actual patent office fee was and can end up paying up to four times more than they need to.
Patent holders can cut this wastage by simply administering their own patent renewals using online automated systems.