It is difficult to estimate the cost of a patent because the costs of advice and drafting vary according to the nature and complexity of the invention to be protected.
How much does a patent cost on average? First, you need to count at least €646 for the filing fees with the INPI, then average advisory fees which can be between €4,500 and €6,000 for the simplest applications… Then, you will have to pay an annual fee, the amount of which is progressive, from €38 for the first year to €790 for the twentieth year, to maintain the patent in force. These high fees sometimes limit the use of this protection to the sole benefit of large companies.
On the other hand, smaller companies will sometimes tend to keep their inventions secret, to provide proof of a definite date, and only resort to patenting at a certain level of their economic development.
On the other hand, young technological companies for which these issues constitute the core of their business (tech start-ups for example) will have to be able to protect their inventions from the outset, for example through loans, investors or fund-raising. It should also be pointed out that tax exemptions exist for patents (research and innovation tax credits) and that a specific aid called SME funds allows for partial reimbursement of filing fees for VSEs/SMEs.