Obtaining a patent costs money, not only at the beginning of the application procedure but fees must also be paid once the patent has been granted. You should therefore consider carefully whether a patent will be worthwhile in your circumstances.
Questions such as 'Do the benefits outweigh the costs?' and 'Can I maintain my patent?' should be considered carefully (see also: Apply for a patent or not?). The costs incurred mainly depend on the number of countries in which you wish to have patent rights and which procedure you intend to follow
Costs at Netherlands Patent Office
There are fees involved in applying for and maintaining a patent, though the application fees are only charged for once. If you choose to write the application yourself, the fees you will pay are:
- A filing fee of € 120 for filing an application
- The compulsory novelty search, costing € 100 (national search) or € 794 (international search), which is performed by our office or the European Patent Office
Costs patent attorney
The costs involved in enlisting the expert help of a patent attorney can be considerable. Patent attorneys charge an hourly rate that is similar to that charged by lawyers. You should prepare thoroughly your visit to a patent attorneys' office by developing your idea in detail. Preferably, you should search the patent databases for several patent publications that relate to your invention prior to your first visit and take these with you. This will save the patent attorney some work and keep costs down.
A patent is a technical and legal document. It grants you the right to prohibit others to bring your product on the market. You must therefore describe your invention in legal terms too. If a patent application is written by a patent attorney, it has a greater chance of success in legal proceedings. The price depends on the complexity of your invention and the rates charged by the patent attorney. An application in the Netherlands costs between € 2.000 and € 10.000.
In order to maintain your patent rights, you must pay the first maintenance fee (€ 40) starting the 4th year after filing. These costs can increase slightly every year up to € 1.400. If you pay the maintenance fees annually, your patent will remain valid for a maximum of 20 years. Please refer to our list of fees for an overview of the various fees.
You must also take into consideration that costs may be payable for asserting your rights in the event of patent infringement. The amount of money you should set aside depends on the risk of infringement and the legal fees. If you wish to contest the infringement in court, you should expect to pay a sum between € 20.000 and € 70.000.
There is no information available with regard to how often patents are infringed. In the Netherlands, no more than 25 patent-related court cases take place per year, compared with approximately 141.000 patents that are in force in the Netherlands. There are therefore few instances of infringement cases being brought to court and most cases are settled among the parties themselves prior to reaching court.
For an estimate of the costs of a patent for your invention in the Netherlands, you can use the Cost Calculator for Protection of Intellectual Property.
If you need more information on how to apply for a patent in the Netherlands, please contact the public information office.