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Tapping into the Potential of Independent Inventors


Published on 27 December 2016

Inventions that are eligible for patent protection are not only developed by scientists and designers that are affiliated with a corporation or an organization by way of an agreement, but also by natural persons or independent inventors. Specifically, grassroots inventions and innovations are driven mostly by independent inventors.

However, independent inventors constitute a minor fraction of patents filed worldwide. For instance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in 2014, issued only 6% of the total patents awarded by it to independent inventors (Dennis Crouch; 2015). Of the patent applications filed with the Indian Patent Office between January 2013 and July 2016, only 12% were filed by independent inventors (Dharani Thangavelu and Sharan Poovanna; 2016).

In order to encourage independent inventors to file more patent applications, several patent offices around the world have introduced a discounted fee structure for such inventors.

Let us consider a 40-page specification having 15 claims, that is to be filed* in each of the top 20 patent jurisdictions** in the world. The estimated total official filing costs to file a patent application, get a patent registered, and maintain the granted patent through to expiry vary from $211 in South Africa to $16,629 in Saudi Arabia (Table 1).

50% of the 20 jurisdictions (Mexico, India, Kazakhstan, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Iran, U.S., Japan, and Saudi Arabia) have a separate, discounted fee structure for independent inventors. The savings in these jurisdictions vary from 7% in Israel to 80% in India (Figure 1). With the exception of Israel (7%) and Japan (12%), which offer the lowest savings, the savings are quite substantial (~50% or more) in the other jurisdictions. Some countries, such as Singapore and New Zealand, do not have a discounted fee structure for independent inventors at this time.


Unlike the other jurisdictions, the Japan Patent Office offers a discount for independent inventors only on the annuity fees or renewal fees (for the first ten years), and not on the filing fee or the request for examination fee.

Interested in getting similar estimates? The Global IP Estimator is Quantify IP’s flagship software that accurately estimates the patenting costs for a single patent family. The costs are estimated based on our meticulous research of patent legislations in 150+ jurisdictions. Specific stages of the patenting process (filing, examination, prosecution, grant, and maintenance) can be included or excluded from the estimates. The software has the capability of generating costs depending on the type of applicant (independent inventor or large entity).

Want to know more? Visit www.QuantifyIP.com , email us at qipcontact@quantifyip.com, or call us at +1-808-891-0099.

Venkatesh Viswanath (Senior Analyst, Quantify IP) contributed to this article.

Exchange Rates Used:

1 US Dollar = 1.35 Australian Dollars, 3.37 Brazilian Real, 1.34 Canadian Dollars, 6.89 Chinese Yuan, 0.94 Euros, 68.26 Indian Rupees, 3.87 Israeli New Shekels, 110.88 Japanese Yen, 1,176.89 Korean Won, 341.13 Kazakhstan Tenge, 20.45 Mexican Pesos, 4.42 Malaysian Ringgits, 1.42 NZ Dollars, 63.90 Russian Rubles, 3.75 Riyals, 1.42 Singapore Dollars, 26.00 Ukraine Hryvnia, and 14.16 South African Rands.

*- It is assumed that all the applications are filed at the same time

**- Top twenty patent jurisdictions taken from WIPO’s World IP Indicators 2015

The estimates are inclusive of:

  1. The fees for extra claims;
  2. The fees for extra pages;
  3. State designation fee;
  4. The fees for examination of extra claims;
  5. The fees for extra pages (publication after grant);
  6. The fees for extra claims at the time of patent registration; and
  7. The statement of inventorship filing costs


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