Patents and startups: EP&C explains benefits and is transparent about costs

    A patent application costs money. As a startup, you don't have an endless budget to protect your innovations. At EP&C we get this, which is why we look for smart ways to get you good protection with a limited budget. We are transparent about the costs so that there are never any surprises.

    Intellectual property is a complex matter. That is why we clearly explain to you how it works and what you can expect. This knowledge is important for both now and the future. It ensures that you are properly equipped to make the right decisions about your intellectual property including after the startup phase. 

    Benefits of patenting for startups 

    Patenting has a number of major benefits. These apply to all companies, but especially if you are in the startup phase. 

    Here is a list of the benefits for you:

    1. Competitive advantage
      You get the exclusive right to make or use your innovation. This will give you a stronger market position than your competitors and increase the value of your business.
    2. Attractive to investors
      Companies that apply for a patent during their startup phase are up to ten times more likely to get funding than those that don’t (EPA/EUIPO 2023). With proper protection in place investors are more likely to recoup their money.
    3. Marketing tool
      By mentioning "patented" or "patent pending" in a marketing campaign, you show that it is an innovative product. As a result, consumers are more inclined to pay a higher price for the product.
    4. Financial benefits
      You can issue licences or sell your intellectual property rights to another party. By doing so, you give that party permission to use your invention commercially in return for payment.

    Why is a patent important for a startup? 

    When we talk to startups we have noticed that convincing investors is an important reason for them to apply for a patent. Quite rightly so, as it significantly increases the chances of getting funding. On top of that, as a startup, you invest a great deal of time and money into developing your innovation. When your invention is finally ready to go to market, you want to be able to do so safely without competitors running off with your ideas.

    By properly protecting your intellectual property you ensure that you reap the financial rewards of your innovation. A patent offers you the exclusive right to use a product or process commercially for a maximum period of twenty years. It creates a temporary monopoly.

    Patent funding options for startups 

    The costs of a patent application can form an obstacle for a startup. Fortunately, it is also possible to protect your innovation with a smaller investment. For example, by spreading the costs of your patent applications over a longer period of time.

    There are several initiatives that can help startups finance a patent application. They are all subject to different conditions. If you would like to know what options are available to you, please let us know we would be happy to put you in touch with an initiative that suits you.

    Read more about patents and startups 

    If you want to know more about intellectual property protection for startups then you can take a look at these blogs or watch the webinar. 

    Applying for a patent with EP&C 

    EP&C likes to work with startups. It is inspiring to be around people with refreshing ideas. Moreover, we like to contribute to protecting the innovations of the future.

    We are proud of the partnerships with the startups listed below. Read their stories and get inspired. 

    The steps involved in the collaboration 

    During this free, no-obligation meeting, we have an extensive discussion about your innovation and how you want to protect it.

    Free strategy assessment
    During this free, no-obligation meeting, we have an extensive discussion about your innovation and how you want to protect it.

    Initial advice
    Based on the strategy assessment we will provide you with written information about the opportunities and threats we see for you and recommend what actions you could take. One of these could be a patent application. This advice is valuable for investors and will put you in a strong position when talking to them. 

    Start the patent application
    Is a patent application the best strategy? This is when we take a more in-depth look at your invention. We determine the scope of protection and describe this in the claims. If we all agree on this, the patent attorney will work out and file the patent application. We will continue to keep in touch with you after that to advise you on your intellectual property in the long term. When your company grows or if you want to develop further, for example. 

    Costs of patent for a startup

    The costs of a patent very much depend on where you want to protect your innovation, the complexity of the innovation and the purpose of the patent. So always discuss which strategy would be best for you with your patent attorney. The latter can explain what you can do to save costs and how costs can be deferred.

    Cost of applying for a Dutch patent

    Conducting a search

    € 1,750 to € 2,500

    • Optional

    Patent attorney fees

    € 6,500 to € 8,500

    • Drawing up a patent application

    Following procedures filing and advising client

    Filing fees

    € 750 to € 1,500

    • Depending on the choice of novelty search (national or international)

    Advice on novelty search

    € 1,000 to € 1,500


    Renewal fees for first 5 years

    € 140

    • Costs increase each year


    Cost of applying for a European patent

    Conducting a search

    €1,750 to EUR 2,500

    • Optional

    Patent attorney fees

    € 6,500 to EUR 8,500

    • Drawing up a patent application

    Following procedures filing and advising client

    Filing fees

    € 5,305

    • Including novelty report* and substantive review

    Renewal fees

    Cost per country

    € 1,000 to EUR 2,000 per country


    Renewal fees for first 5 years

    Once the patent has been granted you will need to pay renewal fees per country.



    EP&C's knowledge partners

    EP&C works with the innovative knowledge partners listed below. As a startup, you can make use of this extensive network. We also visit them on a regular basis, so we can meet you there for some no-obligation advice. Interested? Then get in touch with us.


    Our specialists for startups

    EP&C employs patent attorneys who specialise in mentoring startups. They have a large network and extensive technical and legal expertise. If you are considering a patent application or would you like advice, please get in touch with Sjoerd Bielleman, Nyske Blokhuis, Mark Jolink or Thomas Remmerswaal or one of our offices, free of charge and without obligation.