The issue of most concern to everyone who asks us about the possible protection of an invention is how much it costs to patent.
In these times it is a logical question, but from our point of view what really should be of their concern is to know whether their invention is patentable or not. We already discussed this subject on a previous post: “Is my invention patentable?”
In the following lines, we intend to throw light on the costs involved in getting a patent in Spain, once the invention is valued and decided that is worth a patent for its protection.
How much does it cost to patent in Spain. Application
First of all, is important to remember that patents in Spain are processed by the SPTO, Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.
Developing a patent application in the proper way is a quite tedious task which involves a specific knowledge of the matter and experience, especially in the writing of the specification of the invention usually attached to the application.
The official rate of a patent application in Spain today is 74,92 €. If the patent application in Spain is made claiming international priority from another country, the fee of foreign priority of 19,85€ is needed to be added.
In case of going to an Industrial Property agency, which is highly recommended, professional fees must be added to this amount, which range between 900 and 3000€, depending on the complexity of the case and the rate of each professional.
These costs include: the development of the specification by high qualified technicians and, if necessary, planes or figures; talso he correct filing of the application and its active monitoring.
It is very important to attach to the patent specification a set of drawings in order to complement the description pf the invention and facilitate its understanding. The drawings are presented in a separate section of the description and must meet certain specifications and formats.
With the application starts the following administrative process:
It is important to know that from the time the patent is filed there are 12 months to extend it to any other country.
How much does it cost to patent in spain. Rsa
R.S.A corresponds to the initials of the Report of the State of the Art and it is performed by the Spanish Patent and trademark office (SPTO) after the application. Its realization is indispensable for the granting of a Spanish patent. The correspondent fees must be requested and paid either at the moment of the application or during the next 15 months.
The R.S.A contains the results of the search conducted by an examiner expert in the field, who quotes the documents considered relevant for determining the novelty or inventive step of the invention, according to what is claimed in the application subject of the report.
At the present the official rate for RSA application is 691,50 € .
To this amount professional fees must be added, in case of counting on a professional who shall transmit the results of the report providing his opinion if necessary.
How much does it cost to patent in spain. Previous examination
There is a two-way process to patent a product or invention in Spain. After the publication of the patent it is necessary to choose whether the patent application shall be submitted to a novelty and inventive step examination, (for which must be paid the correspondent fees) or to continue the process by the general procedure.
At the present the amount of official fee for the request of preliminary examination is 393,67 € .
Despite the economic effort involved, in most cases it is highly recommended to choose this way, considering that the right obtained with a patent granted by this way is much more solid legally speaking.
How much does it cost to patent in spain. granting
Other amount that must be considered in every patent process in Spain is the one which corresponds to concession rights.
At the present the fee for concession rights is 26,46€.
Once the fee is paid, the granting of the patent is published and the SPTO issues the corresponding title.
How much does it cost to patent in spain. Maintenance
After the granting, annual maintenance fees must be paid for the patent to remain in force during 20 years. If the payment of this annuity is not realized, the patent is lost, passes into public domain and may be used and exploited by anyone.
Considering that the process of a patent in Spain implies a long period, the first 2 annuities for the maintenance are included in the application fee. Therefore, maintenance fees starts to be paid from the third year retroactively from the granting. For example: if a patent is granted 4 years after the application, the amount for the maintenance of the 4th and 3rd annuity after the granting shall be paid.
It should be considered that the older is a patent the higher is its maintenance fee, as we can see in the following column of official fees (in euros) updated by date of January 2015. To these amounts professional fees must be added.
3ª annuity 18,66€
4ª annuity 23,29€
5ª annuity 45,55€
6ª annuity 64,75€
7ª annuity 108,54€
8ª annuity 135,12€
9ª annuity 169,56€
10ª annuity 218,22€
11ª annuity 273,53€
12ª annuity 321,16€
13ª annuity 368,70€
14ª annuity 416,69€
15ª annuity 445,00€
16ª annuity 463,44€
17ª annuity 494,90€
18ª annuity 494,90€
19ª annuity 494,90€
20ª annuity 494,90€
Before concluding is interesting to know that after the approval of the new Spanish Patent Law, which will came into force on 1 April 2017, the granting procedure tends to be uniform with the rest of patent offices. From that date will be required to pass an examination to all patents. Besides the new law aims to encourage the protection of innovation by SMEs and entrepreneurs by reducing the cost of official rates.
As we have seen, registering a patent in Spain involves complex administrative process which require long time and specific technical knowledge. For this reason, despite being more expensive, hiring an expert team and having their advice is, in any case, a very interesting option.
Are you interested in the registration of a patent in Spain?