Factors affecting the cost
The cost of obtaining a patent depends on several factors: 1. the complexity of the invention; 2. the urgency with which the application has to be made; 3. the number of countries for which protection is sought.
How you may lower the cost
You may lower the cost of a patent application by doing the following things: 1. Prepare a detailed and well-illustrated description and explanation of your invention for the patent agent to work on; 2. Instruct the patent agent at the earliest opportunity and give him sufficient time to prepare the application; 3. Carefully plan how many countries you would apply and make use of the Paris Convention to defer applications.
The cost-benefit analysis
In the end, you have to consider whether the potential benefits (whether as profits earned or loss avoided) to be obtained from a patent application would outweigh the cost. However, as we said in the beginning, the best managed companies in the world all invest heavily on acquiring patents for their innovation. It is a race that few could afford to be left behind.