Applying for a patent is a lengthy and complex procedure, particularly when patent protection is desired in multiple patent jurisdictions.
Different routes and options are available in the prosecution of a patent, which affect the eventual (territorial) scope of protection and differ in overall costs as well as in timing of costs. In view of the limited IP budgets of research institutes, in each of the many decisions in the patent prosecution the TTO staff should carefully consider the balance between desired scope of protection and affordable patent costs. The high costs further impose an ongoing responsibility to monitor whether the (potential) value of a patented invention justifies its further prosecution and maintenance (see What is the Potential value of an invention? ).
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