Here’s a newsflash: patents are pretty expensive. Because they are granted on a country by country basis, there are different maintenance and filing fees required by each country in which you’re attempting to obtain a patent. A 2003 study from the United States General Accounting Office reported that the lifetime cost for a small company to file and maintain a patent in the United States (and in 9 other major industrial countries) ranged from US$170,000 to US$340,000 in 2002 Dollars. That’s about $220,000 to $440,000 in 2013 Dollars. It’s also important to note that these figures apply to small companies—which usually pay about half the filing fees that large companies pay.