New Patent Fees

TenThe PTO has enacted a modest fee increase of roughly 3%. The largest bump is in appeal fees. An appeal with oral arguments now costs $2050 in fees. (I would query whether this appeal fee increase is meant to cover costs or as a disincentive)

Due on filing:

  • Utility Filing Fee: $310
  • Utility Search Fee: $510
  • Utility Examination Fee: $210
  • Total: $1030 (was $1000)

Due later:

  • Notice of Appeal: $510 (was $340 in 2005)
  • Appeal Brief: $510 (was $340 in 2005)
  • Oral Hearing: $1030 (was $340 in 2005)
  • Utility Issue Fee: $1440
  • 3.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $930
  • 7.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $2,360
  • 11.5 Year Maintenance Fee: $3,910

Fee Schedule

 

15 thoughts on “New Patent Fees

  1. To raise some fees so little is ridiculous because of the “menu costs.” We have to contact all of our clients now and provide a listing of the fees, but even worse, for clients that have already paid future uspto fees, we have to now explain and collect the difference. Talk about accounting headaches.

  2. “I think England understands its colonies quite well, but despairs sometimes at the way they have grown up to be so badly behaved. And by the way, it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not merely England. :-)”

    Tufty, I have checked my usual flag-waving reflex to criticism from the UK because you are absolutely correct. As John points out, the US has a combination of Homer Simpsons running the show.

    If someone at the PTO truly were lining his/her pockets, at least there would be reason for the PTO’s madness.

  3. “The USPTO may well make a profit, but that doesn’t appear to reflect that it is doing an efficient job at searching and examining. Everybody knows the USPTO is rubbish at doing both.”

    Everybody except PTO (mis)management.

    You really should hear them when they speak to various groups (AIPLA, IPO, ABA, etc.). They will tell you U.S. examiners do the best job of any office. And they sincerely believe it. They institute the “second pair of eyes” review program, the most massive piece meal examination campaign in history, and trumpet it as a huge success. No kidding. You’d have to hear their schpiel (sp?) to believe it.

    The problem with the fee increases is that there’s no evidence that PTO (mis)management knows how to spend them wisely. They spent millions on a first generation electronic filing system (EFS) that resulted in about 5 applications being filed using it. I went to one of the focus group meetings back in 2001 when they introduced it. The PTO rep spent 2 hours explaining it and the response from every practitioner in the room was, “We would never use that.” The look on the PTO rep’s face was quite funny.

    They finally listened to their “customers” and developed a usable Internet based EFS, that they essentially cribbed from the EPO. Should have done that in the first place. PTO (mis)management spent millions reinventing the wheel. They should have just piled the millions they spent in the middle of the Commissioner’s office, set it on fire, and warmed their hands over it. That would have been a better use of all that money.

    Dont’ get me started on all of the money they spend on useless “training” and “team building exercises” at fancy hotels they spend on the exponentially expanding hordes of “managers.” It’s really rather ludicrous.

  4. The USPTO may well make a profit, but that doesn’t appear to reflect that it is doing an efficient job at searching and examining. Everybody knows the USPTO is rubbish at doing both. The USPTO is, however, very good at creating more and more red tape, which create more costs for the applicant with no discernible benefit for anyone (apart from Mr Dudas’ bulging pockets).

    I am well aware of the small entity thingy, but the hurdles and potential penalties are not worth using it for most applicants as far as I can see, even ones who would qualify.

    I think England understands its colonies quite well, but despairs sometimes at the way they have grown up to be so badly behaved. And by the way, it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not merely England. :-)

  5. Fees??

    Ya’all read Figueroa v. U.S. (05-5144, Fed Cir). Especially the Newman concurring op.

  6. “What is wrong is the view that the system should somehow be geared in favour of the small poor inventor through charging less.”

    Tufty, your argument is with our Congress, not with us. And Congress understood what made America great when it wrote that law, though perhaps they have forgotten it (or have been paid to forget it) now.

    35 USC 41(h)(1)
    Subject to paragraph (3), fees charged under subsections (a), (b) and (d)(1) shall be reduced by 50 percent with respect to their application to any small business concern as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act, and to any independent inventor or nonprofit organization as defined in regulations issued by the Director.

    P.S. Cat, the USPTO makes a profit. Are you proving that England still doesn’t understand its colonies…. There is a chance that letting you make USPTO policy would be even less wise than letting Director Dudas make it, though you may be righter than he. :-)

  7. What is wrong is the view that the system should somehow be geared in favour of the small poor inventor through charging less. If the PTO charged what the job actually cost (rather than trying to bump costs up artificially through corrupt practices such as forcing RCEs on valid applications), maybe the job could be done better for all applicants. The small inventor who really wants to properly protect his invention would never sensibly rely on his own patent drafting skills, but employ a (well-paid) attorney to help. Why should the PTO only be able to use poorly trained and badly paid monkeys to deal with the application?

    It appears that people are being priced out of the system not because of the official fees, but because of the unnecessary red tape that applicants have to deal with, which increases attorney fees enormously. What the USPTO should do is get rid of requirements for disclosure and all the other pointless form-filling and concentrate on doing a proper job on searching and examinining.

  8. Tufty said:
    “Does anyone actually believe in that myth anymore?”

    Dear Tufty, whoever you are

    let me assure you that there are many many brilliant people in this great country who would rather not be slaves of large corporations
    Some of them are lucky enough to start their own startup companies, from their sheds and garages, from home offices and appartments, even from dorm-rooms…
    The first names which come to mind are HP (garage in Palo Alto, as far as I remember), Microsoft (some sleazy motel in Albuquerque), Google (Stanford dorm room and then somebody’ garage) etc. etc. etc.
    Ironically, same companies turn into patent pirates and vultures when they become big enough to dominate the market…

  9. “Does anyone actually believe in that myth anymore?”

    It is not a myth, but a fact that is rapidly pricing people out of the patent system. Couple the constant barrage of fee increases with a FTF system, and I daresay that many people will opt out of the system for economic reasons.

    As for independent inventors and their role in technological progress, I have as yet to see a single technology company that did not have its genesis in one, two or three people with what they thought was a better idea. Virtually all of the major companies that now bemoan the patent system were at one point in time strong supporters…that time being at their inception.

  10. Now it makes sense why the US patent system is broken. 1000 dollars to fully examine a patent application? Peanuts and monkeys come to mind. Why not price the system for what it actually costs? Oh yes, that would disadvantage the poor little inventor working from his shed and unfairly favour nasty big business. Does anyone actually believe in that myth anymore?

  11. The fee increases that went into effect December 8, 2004 were supposed to go back to the pre-12/8/04 levels on September 30, 2006 if the PTO did not show a reduction in pendency and the back log. Of course, PTO (mis)management utterly failed in making any progress on those two goals. Despite their failure, Congress let PTO (mis)management off the hook and kept the fees at the new, higher level. Now the fees are going up again. It’s like an endless series of bad jokes being played on applicants and the patent bar.

  12. “I would query whether this appeal fee increase is meant to cover costs or as a disincentive”

    I’m sure it’s intended as a disincentive. The proposed rules are going to reduce the amount of effort the Board will have to spend per appeal, so there’s really no justification to increase the costs.

    It’s a shame they couldn’t have done the same with continuations instead of (effectively) limiting applicants to two continuation applications by the new rules.

  13. I love how the appeal fees are going up. The PTO figured they would have to finance the BPAI since after Nov. 1st it is appeal time…!

  14. Thanks for posting this reminder of the fee increase. And the link to the fee schedule. There must be more than just me who practices as a solo without any staff and need a memory jog that the fees go up every October.

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