If the invention is potentially patentable and has market potential, we use outside counsel to draft and file patent applications while we manage this process. The law firm is typically chosen based on the academic or industry background of their lawyers. The intellectual property officer and the patent attorney assigned to the case will work with you to develop the patent application.
Prosecution (examination of a patent application by a patent office) can take many years and cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Often the inventor(s) are consulted during patent prosecution on technical aspects prior to responding to a patent examiner. UC Davis InnovationAccess may choose to discontinue a patent application during prosecution. Reasons to do so include lack of commercial interest in the invention; significant prosecution expenses in the absence of a licensee; and a decline in the probability of obtaining an issued patent discovered during prosecution.
Upon notification of the allowance of a patent, issuance fees must be paid. These typically are only good for 3-5 years, depending on the country. At their expiration, if the patent is to be maintained, extension fees (e.g., maintenance fees or annuities) must be paid which often increase in cost over the life of the patent. Under current patent law a patent term starts on the date of filing and runs for 20 years.